One aspect of education that is here to stay is the use of technology in the classroom. Today, classroom technology goes beyond the simple approach of BYOD (bring your own device) to use apps or take notes in class. Instead, many schools are experimenting with blended learning, a type of teaching wherein students receive part of their instruction from teachers and part from online classes and activities. There are various ways to integrate blended learning in the classroom to help students reach their full academic potential.
Using Technology in the Classroom Effectively
A complete overhaul of the way teachers work would be overwhelming for everyone. However, teachers can introduce small changes through the use of technology in the classroom. One easy improvement is the adoption of rotation-style classrooms. This model involves rotating classrooms and instruction away from the traditional teacher-centered model and instead prioritizing student understanding and comprehension. A good example is the flipped lesson. A flipped lesson involves lesson content posted online instead of delivered in the classroom. A teacher might post a video of notes the students need to copy or step-by-step breakdowns of sample problems. The students then complete assignments based on the material. When the students return to the classroom, the teacher may expand upon the lesson, or he or she may devote class time to one-on-one work with students who need help with course concepts. Teachers can also reserve class time for additional exercises to reinforce understanding.
For some students, however, access to technology outside of school can be a problem. To ensure digital equity, teachers should give students several days to complete flipped lessons. If a student cannot finish the lesson in this amount of time, then teachers can rely on classroom technology to help the student with access or understanding.
Another example of a rotation-style classroom is a lab rotation. In this classroom, the students rotate to various stations, or labs, working on different parts of a lesson while the teacher facilitates and enhances the lesson. It gives students a chance to work on time management within parameters.
The Goal Behind Using Technology in the Classroom
Technology will not disappear from classrooms any time soon. Newer technology arrives every year, and students and teachers have to adjust when using technology in the classroom. As more and more colleges offer online classes, students need technological proficiency and self-motivation in order to succeed in their studies. Some schools are beginning to require at least one online class for graduation simply to familiarize students with the experience. While classrooms still need teachers, there is a balance teachers must strike to help today’s students. Younger students, for example, need the help with time management that only a live teacher can offer for students to succeed in increasingly digital learning environments.
Another goal is using technology in the classroom for individual, targeted learning. Targeted learning gets each student the type of learning and education he or she needs most. It challenges high-achieving students, it assists low-achieving students, and everyone in between learns in the manner that suits them best.
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