It is being perceived as more and more important to teach using digital aids, iPads and computers. How can we make a positive difference to students with technology? Is it realistic to expect teachers to spend many hours preparing technology integrated lessons? Or is it more a case of learning the best way to do it?
Does technology help or hinder in the classroom?
Here is the conclusion of a piece of research carried out by Courtney E. Unser – researcher at Long Island University in “A Study on The Positives and Negatives of Using Technology In The Classroom”
“The use of technological devices, programs and aids in the classroom should improve students’ assessment performance, level of engagement, and academic success. However, these results depend directly on the self-efficacy, and continuous training of classroom teachers.”
In Mike Britland’s article in the Guardian he talks about trying to harness the power of students mobile phones. The majority of students will have one and they are undeniably powerful. Equally able to help and hinder depending on how the user operates them! This is how Mike puts it: “Most students have powerful devices, primed and ready to go in their pockets – the dreaded mobile phone. If you’re lucky like me, your school will see the power that these wonders hold. Allowing students to unholster these weapons is a liberating experience for both teacher and student”
Where do I get CPD from for incorporating technology in the classroom?
There are lots of good suppliers for this and at pretty good rates, which will keep the finance department happy. A good place to start is the Education and Teaching Foundation which has some affordable courses. There is also the Career Colleges Trust which offers some excellent free options to get you started.
Who will be able to help me with ideas and techniques for incorporating tech into my lessons?
Another avenue is to ask recently qualified teachers. Their training will have included techniques for using technology in the classroom. There may also be teachers who use technology effectively already that you could share ideas with.
There is also a wealth of information on the internet through blogs, forums and of course YouTube! You can even involve students, who know how to use devices and the internet like the digital natives that they are!
The main thing is, don’t be afraid of the technology, keep trying and you will nail it in the end!