Jump on the Bandwidth… Embrace Technology in Your Classroom

Ok, so that was a poor play-on-words attempt.

Promoting the use of technology in the classroom is fun for me. I’ve bought in, I believe in it, and I love sharing what I know and learning from others.  However, it’s not always easy.

Technology can be frustrating at times, and it takes a lot of work for a teacher to revamp a lesson and infuse it with technology. Not to mention, it’s mid-year, it’s cold out, work is piling up, and we’re all tired.  We’ve all been there.  Why am I doing this and is it summer yet thoughts begins to cross our mind.

I came across the following Edutopia video, and sent it out to the teachers at my school to help remind them why they are all working so hard to make the best use out of technology.  It lit a fire in me, and I hope it does the same for them, and even you reading this.  This short, four minute video does a fantastic job of highlighting a couple major points I try to relay to the teachers at my school.

 

Two of my favorite quotes in the video:

 

Technology, it’s a tool.  It’s what you do with that tool, what you can make, what you allow the students to make, that’s really what technology is about.  If you can do this lesson without technology, that’s great.  But if you can do it better with technology, then that’s why you use it.  That’s why you use tools.”

I think this is an important concept to remember.  No one should be using technology for technology’s sake.  You can have the latest and greatest equipment, but if you don’t put it to good use, it won’t make your lesson any better and your students will not automatically learn more.  Not every lesson is going to need technology, but many lessons can be enhanced by embracing some form of technology.

However, sticking a piece of technology in front of a student will not automatically engage them.  We have to do what we tell our students every day: think outside of the box.  Heck, get rid of the box all together. Could you flip this lesson? Could students turn a traditional research paper into a vodcast or podcast?  Could you Skype a guest speaker, who would otherwise not be able to make the journey to your class?  Could you turn this traditional group work into an online, collaborative space?  The options are endless.

 

“When you create, you take ownership of your learning.  You understand it in a very different way than if you just memorize something from a textbook…”

Another important concept to take from this video is the value technology can add to higher level thinking.  With technology, it is easy to create (videos, pictures, blogs, podcasts, wikis, etc). Technology opens doors for students to truly understand and apply concepts in ways that the traditional classroom has not.

 

So, come on.  Jump on the ed tech bandwagon!

Tech to You Later!

-Katie

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