For teachers with varying levels of technology comfort, teacher technologist Jessica Guyon hosts virtual office hours to help guide them through the basics of integrating digital tools into their classrooms.
When teachers start to build their student’s digital toolbox, it’s important to do so with a goal in mind. Begin with the learning outcomes and gradually add technology to support them.
1. Make Technology a Part of Every Lesson
The past couple of years have been a significant time for education technology. Schools went through a massive experiment in remote and hybrid learning, invested billions of dollars to expand 1-to-1 computing programs nationwide, and faced a rising number of cyber threats.
Educators want their students to be prepared for a world in which they’ll be working with more technology than ever before. They’re also looking for ways to leverage emerging technologies like drones, robotics, virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence to supercharge their curriculum.
A key benefit of technology integration is that it allows teachers to focus more instructional time on teaching content and less time on tech training. By integrating tech into the curriculum, educators can make lessons more engaging and provide immediate feedback on student progress.
2. Create a Digital Learning Environment
A digital learning environment is a technology-enabled platform where high quality academic material is delivered. This includes resources, activities, and assessments.
The digital learning environment allows educators to deliver content in a variety of ways that are tailored to students’ needs and learning preferences. It also allows teachers to provide digital assessments that can be submitted instantly.
Educators should ensure that they have the tools to create a digital learning environment and that their students can easily access them during class time. The digital learning environment should also include a way for students to share their progress with other students and with parents.
A next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE) is a framework that education institutions can use to transform their teaching and learning environments. It focuses on interoperability, personalization, analytics, collaboration, and accessibility, and provides educators with the tools they need to create customized learning environments that align with their institutional goals.
3. Make Technology a Part of Every Assessment
Technology can be used to enhance assessments in a number of ways. It can help students express their knowledge in multiple ways, gamify learning and create authentic assessment tasks that focus on problem-solving and mastery.
Teachers can also use technology to assess student progress and track student performance throughout the year. This can be a great way to ensure that students are reaching their full potential and improving their grades.
Technology also supports inclusive learning environments where students of all backgrounds and abilities can learn together. It can also help educators collect data on student performance and make lesson plans more dynamic.
4. Make Technology a Part of Every Class Meeting
When it comes to presenting educational content, there are many ways technology can make learning more engaging. For example, smartboards can project slides and textbook examples that can be interactive for students.
Alternatively, teachers can use digital field trips to take students on a virtual tour of an interesting location. For example, a geology professor might take her class on a virtual trip to Grand Canyon National Park or a history teacher might walk students through the corridors of the White House.
Another way to make technology a part of every class meeting is through online discussion forums. This allows students to share their questions and discuss the lessons in real time. This can help students better understand the material and make more connections with their peers.
5. Make Technology a Part of Every Homework Assignment
Technology can be a great way to make sure that your students are engaged in their work. It can also help you get a quick check on whether they understand something before you move on to the next part of your lesson.
Tech is also a great way to engage your students in learning by making it fun. It can be used in a variety of ways, such as directing them to online resources or presenting short videos.
However, the use of technology in a classroom can be tricky. For example, teachers may find that using technology to teach can distract students or take up too much of their time. Furthermore, some educators fear that using technology can confuse or mislead students and parents.
6. Make Technology a Part of Every Assessment
In the classroom, technology can help teachers better understand students’ minds and their individual learning needs. That’s important because it can help teachers customize their lessons and assessments to fit each student’s needs.
One way to do this is by making technology a part of every assessment. This could include creating online assignments, delivering online essays or multiple choice tests and providing instant feedback to students through digital rubrics and error-finding systems.
These new kinds of technology-driven assessments can also support continuous improvement in test items, which is important to maintaining a fair and accurate testing experience for all students. Additionally, these types of assessments can be delivered remotely to remove geographical or social barriers for students.
7. Make Technology a Part of Every Class Meeting
Technology can be a great way to make learning more fun and engaging. Instead of sitting in a classroom and listening to a lecture, students can use their tablets or laptops to research topics and learn in a more interactive way.
Another great way to bring technology into the classroom is to let students build digital content. This can be a great way to encourage creativity and prepare them for future careers.
By allowing students to create their own websites and multimedia presentations, you can make learning even more fun. You can also teach them how to make videos of their projects or create digital books on their own.
8. Make Technology a Part of Every Homework Assignment
Whether your students are struggling or excelling, technology can help. From finding a leveled reader to creating research papers, students can work on their assignments in a way that’s tailored to their needs.
Teachers can also use technology to provide quick feedback on student comprehension, such as through tools like Poll Everywhere and Socrative. This helps keep teachers on top of their students’ knowledge level and gives them insight into where they need support.
Another great way to make technology a part of every homework assignment is to encourage students to create podcasts or videos to share with their classmates. This can remove some of the stress students feel when presenting their work, and it’s an easy way to get feedback.
9. Make Technology a Part of Every Class Meeting
During every class meeting, it’s important to engage students in a variety of activities that encourage teamwork and promote classroom community. These activities can be as simple as greetings or as elaborate as a class game.
Involving students in class meetings also gives teachers a chance to check their lesson plans and prepare for the day ahead. Morning meetings can last as short as 10 minutes or as long as half an hour, depending on the activity.
One way to make these meetings more interactive is by having students use technology. Consider using a shared online calendar to post assignment due dates and other classroom events in one place for everyone to view.
10. Make Technology a Part of Every Class Meeting
If you’re looking for ways to get more out of each class meeting, consider incorporating technology into the mix. This can help make your teaching more interactive and collaborative, as students can use video, slideshows, or other digital content to demonstrate their learning.
It can also provide quick feedback on their understanding of a topic. Tools like Poll Everywhere, Socrative, or Mentimeter allow you to ask a short quiz question about a topic and let your students respond using their internet-enabled devices.
This can be a great way to get more feedback from reserved students who normally wouldn’t speak up in the classroom. It can also allow students to share their opinions with each other without feeling obligated to speak up in front of the class.