How Technology Is Changing the Face of Education

Technology is a facet of society that is constantly changing and when these changes take place the members of a particular culture have to be willing to make adjustments. This particular fact is especially true for people who are employed within the field of education. Technology has infiltrated the educational system rather quickly and its usage is expected to significantly increase in the coming years. Teachers can (and still do) instruct students without the use of computers, laptops and tablets but sooner or later they will have to make some adjustments for the use of digital equipment as part of the learning environment.

The Department of Education and the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) have developed technology standards that have been adopted by the majority of states within the U.S. These standards encourage the use of computers, smart boards, laptops and tablets within the classroom. Laptops and computers have already been implemented in school buildings across the country. Tablets are the latest form of computing technology that is now being adapted for the learning environment.

Many teachers currently use smart boards to instruct their pupils especially on the lower grades. Smart boards provide teaches with the ability to use computer software and media presentations in order to instruct their students.

Most teachers use computers as a supplementary form of teaching. They allow students to go off in groups on their own and learn educational concepts from approved software or websites.

Middle and high schools also use technology to instruct students but they typically take a more direct approach than elementary schools. Some high and middle school districts assign students a laptop that they must use inside of the classroom. These laptops are given to students at the beginning of the year and they must return them back to the district once a school year is completed. Many students in high school and middle school will also be expected to complete assignments online and through the use of networking with fellow students. Though many high and middle schools use the traditional approaches of teaching they are now using digital based instruction at a greater rate.

Education at the college level still involves lectures and note taking but professors and students can perform these tasks with the use of computer technology. Digital technology makes it easier for students to record information and it also helps professors to give media presentation that enhances their lectures and instruction.

The education system is going to be one of the primary areas of society where technology will be greatly utilized. Many of the jobs in the present and the coming future will involve some use of computer technology and people will have to know how to use this science in order to earn a decent living. Schools are exposing children to digital technology for this purpose and to make them more competitive and highly educated in today’s world. Technology is extremely important to the learning environment and it has become a permanent part to the process of education.

Using ICT As a Form of Classroom Technology

The use of ICT as a form of classroom technology is of advantage to people of all ages starting from elementary school to colleges. The reason why it is important for teachers to use ICT in the classroom is that it grabs the interest of children for they have access to many types of interesting technology and they therefore need to have classes that interest them too. They can improve their knowledge and have fun at the same time by using various forms of ICT equipment. This equipment also provides students with a variety of ways to learn.

The use of ICT in schools has a positive effect on students for it makes them conversant with technology. This has the advantage of making it possible for them to utilize technology in beneficial ways for the rest of their lives. For example, they can learn how to communicate effectively in writing and speaking by the use of computers and audio equipment such as microphones. The students also have access to a large amount of information when teachers use ICT as a form of classroom technology. The information is readily available from the internet.

Information and Communication Technology when used in the appropriate manner in lessons is capable of being efficient in teaching the students and motivating them. The use of technology such as whiteboards that allow for student interaction with different forms of ICT will assist students to overcome any apprehensions they have regarding education. For example, the students can discuss material projected onto whiteboards and gain the advantage of having the opportunity to understand much of the material presented in class.

The use of ICT in classrooms has the probability of improving the standard and quality of education for students. It is also beneficial for the teachers in that it helps them in simplifying their work. It reduces the time required by teachers to plan for lessons and the extra time it would take to follow up on the students. For example, if the students have access to videos, they can borrow them from the library and watch them when they are free. They can also access the information available on the internet without the teacher’s presence.

ICT in the classroom is also ideal for language teachers for they use the technology to make learning new languages easier. The language students can utilize the software available for learning new languages and use audio cassettes for practice. The use of ICT equipment like computers as classroom technology gives the students the ability to revise and research information. Classroom technology is a necessary tool for teachers to use if they want their students to succeed and they should therefore consider the use of the many forms of ICT equipment available for teaching lessons.

Your Lesson Plan – Integrating Classroom Technology

Considering that we are now nearly a decade into the 21st Century, its surprising that many teachers still come up with lesson plans that are identical to any given lesson plan from the 19th Century. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration – perhaps a lesson plan from the 1950s would be a kinder description. For many teachers, new technologies are something of a challenge and can feel risky.

It is important that all teachers learn how to use new technologies into their unit and lesson plans. New technologies, such as blogs, YouTube and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook can all be used in the classroom by a teacher who has learned how to fit their use into a lesson plan. Even not-so-new technologies such as video can be built into a lesson plan.

All too often, however, the typical video lesson plan involves just plugging in the machine and pressing play. This sort of “lesson” might be all right for a relief teacher or for someone who is filling in a slot at the end of the term (and the teacher is snowed under with papers to grade, so he/she takes advantage of the quiet produced by a video playing for a lesson to do a little marking. Don’t do this!

But this is not the best way to build a lesson plan around a video to maximise the learning potential of video, let alone newer technology. Video, as you probably know, can be fitted into any of the classic slots in a typical lesson – as a way of piquing interest, as a way of delivering the main content of the lesson, as material for analysis or to which the key learning points can be applied, or as a way of summing up the lesson.

Now, if you’ve managed to master these late 20th Century techniques and fit video into your lesson plan, you can apply them to newer technologies. But how?

Well, the most obvious online tool for adding new technologies into your classroom is YouTube. YouTube clips come in nice bite-sized pieces that make them perfect for classroom application. No fooling around with fast-forward or rewind buttons to find exactly the clip you need – it’s all there ready to go, complete with the controls for pausing and rewinding, should you need them. And if you have used a YouTube clip in your lesson plan, don’t forget to give the URL to your students so they can view it again… and again.

The biggest step to overcome when trying to incorporate new technologies and tools into a lesson plan is learning how to use the tools. Many teachers feel at a real disadvantage if their pupils are more at home with applications such as Facebook but the teacher is not. Teachers should take the time to upskill regularly in the area of new technology, just as much as they should take the time to familiarise themselves with topical issues and ideas in the world of education.

Often, taking the first step is the hardest part. It’s especially hard if you feel like you’re the only teacher in your school to try fitting new technologies into your planning and classroom delivery.