Classroom technology—everyone is talking about it, but are you using it to its full potential in your classroom? If not, there are a variety of simple changes you can make to ensure that you are, like moving around your classroom or creating polls for your students to complete.
Use these tips to make your classroom technology use more effective and powerful.
Design the Right Space:
Your learning space should be tech friendly—tools should be visible and easily accessible, and rules should be written on posters and signs around the room, reminding students what they can and can’t do. Here are a few ways to make your classroom design more tech friendly.
Put Education First:
Always start with your lesson plan before choosing a new tech tool. This ensures that you’re putting education before technology; a critical aspect of choosing technology the will be the best fit for your students and lessons:
“I incorporate edtech tools into my lessons that will help students create, collaborate, and communicate the content they are learning. If a certain tool will not help my students accomplish these tasks, I don’t use it in my classroom,” said Bethany Petty in How to Bring Technology Into Your Classroom.
To do this, start with one lesson. Write down the main objective of the lesson and how you envision technology benefitting it or helping you reach that goal. With this in mind, you can start looking for a new app or program, or dig through your current “toolbox,” to find one that you know your students already love.
This process ensures your technology is supporting the lesson, not becoming the sole focus, making the use of that product more powerful.
Use Tools That Engage:
Some popular educational technology tools aren’t meant to be engaging—Google Docs, for example, simply streamlines a once tedious process for teachers.
Luckily, there are many edtech tools available to you that are created solely for making education more engaging. See if you can work some of the following engagement-focused apps and programs into your classroom:
Ask for Student Feedback:
The best way to make your technology use more powerful is to choose apps, tools and websites that your students love. This motivates them to be more engaged and excited about the lesson.
Luckily, it’s simple to get their feedback. Just create a Google Form to poll them. The questions can be as simple as:
Consider using questions that are specific to that one tool, to get a clear picture of whether it worked or not, from your students’ point of view.
Always Be Flexible:
Despite your best intentions, lessons sometimes go off-plan, especially when technology is involved. However, the most powerful use of a tool is when it happens naturally. When the lesson goes off course, let it. Take note of what happened and why the change was made. Consider revising how you use it in the future to reflect this; remember, the lesson guides the tool, not the other way around.
Improve your use of technology in the classroom with these simple tips. Whether you move some classroom furniture around, or implement more engaging tools, both you and your students will benefit.
This blog is authored by Learn2Earn.
Learn2Earn is a children’s literacy organization that helps schools and organizations raise money based on the number of minutes and books children read. We make reading fun, social, and exciting for children K-8. Learn more about fundraiser at learn2earn.org and sign up for our teacher tool too!