Integrating technology in the classroom was once thought to be a luxury but now is not only an everyday occurrence but a necessity. In order to prepare students for the outside “real world” they must be equipped with computer skills, critical thinking processes and the required content. Gone are the endless days of searching, we now have information at our
Integrating technology in the classroom allows teachers and students to work on all three of these areas at one time. Teachers present students with a task and equip them with the appropriate technology to solve the problem. A quick search will give you numerous articles full of lists on how to integrate technology in all disciplines. Students can do anything from researching a historical figure to examining the life cycle of a snail. As students search and pull their information they are learning to evaluate what they find, a very important skill for later in life.
In recent years social networking has been a hot topic. Some are nervous about putting too much personal information out for the public, while others see it as a learning opportunity. Teachers are now incorporating blogs, Wikis, and networking sites such as Edmodo to enhance the learning experience in their classrooms.
Allowing students the opportunity for social networking experiences allows the class time to extend beyond the regular school hours. Students who are less inclined to speak up in class may feel comfortable posing a question on the internet. Edmodo allows students a place to organize class notes, a class calendar and turn in assignments. Teachers can give students feedback quickly and easily by grading work online.
Social networking also has benefits for parents as well as students. A teacher blog can post information that is being studied in the class giving parents insight into what their student is doing all day. Teenagers don’t want to talk about school, but if parents are equipped with information to ask they can get those conversations started. Applications such as the Edmodo calendar help students work with time management and planning ahead.
Higher level thinking involves creating products. Students go through all the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy when asked to research online and create a product for a class Wiki. The problem solving skills used to seek out the needed information and determine what product to create are life-long skills students need to learn. Group projects are made easier because students can meet virtually to create a final product.
Integrating technology in the classroom has many benefits. Students are given a set of important skills needed to be successful in the work place. Parents are connected with the classroom. Most importantly students are empowered to be in charge of their learning.
Never heard of Edmodo? Watch this video to find out more.
Edmodo: a social network that works in the classroom #mace2010 Â« Moving at the Speed of Creativity. (n.d.). Moving at the Speed of Creativity. Retrieved June 20, 2010, from http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2010/03/05/edmodo-a-social-network-that-works-in-the-classroom-mace2010/
Klopfer, E., Osteweil, S., Groff, J., & Haas, J. (n.d.). The Instructional Power of and How Teachers Can Leverage Them. using the technology of today, in the classroom today. Retrieved June 19, 2010, from education.mit.edu/papers/GamesSimsSocNets_EdArcade.pdf
Starr, L. (2009, August 11). Education World Â® Technology Center: Technology Integration Made Easy. Education WorldÂ® The Educator's Best Friend. Retrieved June 19, 2010, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech146.shtml
Vrehas, J. P. (2005, March 22). Integrating Technology in the Classroom. tripod.com. Retrieved June 19, 2010, from http://vrehas.tripod.com/wp.doc