When I started my teaching career 15 years ago, I didn’t have a single computer in my classroom. I didn’t even have a teacher computer. I was grateful for the calculator when it came time to do final grades at the end of each trimester. Now, I don’t think I could live without the technology I have in my classroom. It has become an integral part of how I communicate, share information, learn, and collaborate with my students and fellow teachers. While the integration of technology in my classroom is not seamless, it is something that I utilize so regularly, that imagining a day without it is nearly impossible.
I may claim that I need the technology tool to teach my social studies classes, but do I really? Is the technology as powerful as I think it is? It seems that integrating technology into classrooms is indeed a powerful motivator for students and does have an impact on learning when implemented with purposeful rigor and intent. Below are some thoughts on integrating technology into specific content areas.
The use of technology in language arts can be powerful, especially in terms of student writing. Some studies have suggested that the use of student blogs to post student work for weekly critiques, regular journals, and debates resulted in student excitement and dialogue. Confidence in student writing increased and students become increasing more willing to share ideas in a written platforms. (Light and Polin 2010). The use of technology in language arts classes can also help build collaborative speaking and listening skills in all students with the use of simple online discussion tools. With minimal effort, teachers can integrate technology easily into their programs.
Bringing technology into science and math can be a powerful learning tool. Access to the wide variety of equipment needed to conduct science experiments is often a road block for teachers who have the desire to have students learn through experiences in a science lab. Online experiments and interactive tools are widely available to replace the in class science experiments. Previously inaccessible activities can be made accessible with the appropriate technology tools (Edutopia, 2009).
How to Teach with Technology: Science and Math. (n.d.). Retrieved December 06, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-science-math-lessons
Technology Integration Research Review: Additional Tools and Programs. (n.d.). Retrieved December 06, 2014, from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-research-tools-programs