Most people believe that technology use in the classroom is a must to assure that our students have the skills and creative fortitude to function in this fast paced,...
With Technology in the Classroom, the Teacher is No Longer Center Stage
Most people believe that technology use in the classroom is a must to assure that our students have the skills and creative fortitude to function in this fast paced, Facebooked, iPhoned world. Assuming that schools have the budget for proper infrastructure, Internet providers, routers and modems that can handle the traffic generated by classroom use, hardware and software which are up-to date, and maintenance and repair staff on-call, what is the teacher’s role and, for that matter, what is the student’s role with this new reality?
Unlike the standard educational plans of the past where the teacher gave over information and the student was a passive receiver or the teacher was the leader and the student was the follower, technological use puts the student in an active role. In fact, students are often more technologically savvy than the teacher!
Students need to make choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate or display information. The use of technology affords more students to be actively thinking and actively giving them a sense of power over their education as well as opening the door for more in-depth learning of topics of particular personal interest.
Noting the above, it appears that technological use in the classroom generates more authentic tasks, shirking the question, “What does this mean to me?”, and encourages students to learn with clear goals in mind and self regulation of their progress. In addition, it has been found that students who may not shine in a standard educational model can find their voice through technology increasing their self-esteem and providing an opening to excel with their peers. Additionally, teachers agree that there is greater natural cooperation between students when using technology as each wants to learn the new things that another has discovered.
Through the use of technology, the teacher’s role generally changes from dispenser of information to facilitator. They can assist students in clarifying outcomes, provide guidelines for projects, assist in finding resources and help students navigate group responsibilities.
There is actually a universal phenomenon concerning teacher opinions towards technology in the classroom- that of increased motivation of their students. Teachers and students have both noted surprise in some of the outstanding and beyond expectation accomplishments that have been achieved. Most say that students were able to handle more complex assignments with the use of technology than before its introduction into the classroom.
It appears that we are finally doing something right in our schools to improve student enthusiasm for learning. What are your experiences with technology in the classroom? We’d love to hear from you.