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Teacher's Voice: Technology in the Classroom

Using Technology in the Classroom

Christopher Kalff

Primary ICT Coordinator

Year 4 Classroom Teacher

  • Nearpod for Guided Reading

 

As we move through the 21st century, the proliferation of Technology into our daily lives is quite evident.  Using Social Media has become the norm for communication, tablets are replacing books, and we can find out just about anything that we want with our smartphones.  The way we use technology on a daily basis has completely changed our lives.

We as teachers have also started to see the benefits of technology in the classroom.  Several studies have shown that technology has a positive impact on the education process. We as Educators also realise the importance of developing these technological skills in students to that they will be better prepared to enter the workforce once they have completed their schooling.

Here at NAIS, technology has had a significant impact as its widespread adoption throughout the school is quite evident.  Teachers are now teaching with tablets, iPads, Smart Boards, digital cameras and computers, while students are using advanced technology to shape how they learn. The rollout of the 1:1 iPad program in Years 5-11 as well as portable iPad trolleys has shown our commitment to staying at the forefront of this exciting technological movement. By embracing and integrating technology in the classroom, we are setting our students up for a successful life outside of school.  Here are some benefits of using technology in the classroom:

Technology in the Classroom Makes Learning More Interesting

As they are part of their everyday lives, students prefer technology because they believe that it makes learning more interesting and fun. They especially like laptops and tablets. Subjects that students deem challenging or boring can become more interesting with virtual lessons, through a video, or when using a tablet.

Technology Prepares Students for the Future

These 21st-century skills are essential in order to be successful in this day and age. Jobs that may not have had a digital component in the past, it will probably have one now. Education isn’t just about memorising facts and vocabulary words; it’s about solving complex problems and being able to collaborate with others. Ed-tech in the classroom prepares students for their future and sets them up for this increasing digital economy.

Improved Retention Rate

Student perceptions in the study believe that technology helps them retain information better. According to studies, when students use digital technology to complete a project, many remember more facts about the animal after completing the presentation. These results show that technology indeed helps students remember what they learn.

Technology Helps Students Learn at Their Own Pace

Today’s technology enables students to learn at their own pace. For example, almost all apps allow for individualised instruction. Students can learn according to their abilities and needs. This form of teaching is also great for the teacher because it gives him/her the time to work individually with students who may be struggling.

Technology Connects with Students

Technology occupies an important place within students’ lives. When they are not in school, just about everything that they do is connected in some way to technology. By integrating technology into the classroom, teachers are changing the way they used to teach and providing students with the tools that will take them into the 21st century.

Example:

Using Nearpod to teach Guided Reading:

At NAIS there have been regular training sessions for teachers, especially on the integration of technology into our lessons.  This might be through the presentation tools we use to make learning more exciting, different ways for children to show their learning, ways in which students and teachers can collaborate online or ways for assessing student’s achievements. 

One of the APP’s we have been using in the Primary school is Nearpod for Guided Reading.  Using Nearpod, teachers are able to transfer Reading Books onto the iPad for children to read.  We are then able to insert questions and activities within the story which can help the children with comprehension, prediction and inference skills.  The answers that students input for these questions are easily accessible to teachers so that they can assess understanding and address misconceptions.  Several teachers in the Primary school have been using this app for a while now and we have had some excellent feedback from its use in the classroom!

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