Information technology has revolutionized how people do their jobs and live their day-to-day lives. It’s also provided teachers access to advanced tools that create more engaging and effective classes for children of the “digital native” generation.
That generation has grown up with computers and smartphones always at hand. These students don’t hesitate to do a Google search on things they don’t know. They meet in online chat forums that allow them to communicate with friends across town and around the world. They watch their parents look up YouTube videos on fixing a dripping faucet or running toilet. They listen to music from any era, culture or genre whenever and wherever they want.
In short, they feel entirely at ease with information technology. Engaging these digital native students requires teachers who are just as comfortable with digital innovation in the classroom. It starts by learning information technology basics.
Information Technology Basics for the Classroom
For many teachers, it’s been a fast ramp-up when it comes to technology. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of technology out of necessity. Teachers who previously used few online resources suddenly taught classes 100% online.
However, education has “always held a reputation of being a laggard as far as technology adoption goes,” according to Medium. Creating a modern classroom geared for a tech-friendly generation provides the perfect opportunity to learn information technology basics. Unfortunately, not all schools fully support teachers in making the effort. Nonetheless, embracing digital technology is worth the endeavor.
While there are many specific ways teachers can incorporate information technology into the classroom, they all have one thing in common: better access to information and students. For example, teachers can reach every student simultaneously through online classroom forums. They also can access diverse sources of information to incorporate into classroom learning plans.
Uses of Information Technology in the Classroom
Using information technology in the classroom provides many benefits. Teachers who understand information technology basics have what they need to put digital teaching tools to use.
- Access to learning materials. Teachers can find many learning materials online to supplement classroom curriculums.
- Continuous learning. Students can access classroom materials from anywhere they have a web connection. Learning happens whenever and wherever a student is ready.
- Sharing knowledge. Online chat rooms allow students to come together and share knowledge, engage in debate, study together and learn from one another.
- Access to video and images. There are abundant resources on the internet for finding videos and images that enhance what a student has learned in the classroom.
- Organization for teachers. Teachers can use cloud storage to organize classroom materials and student records better, allowing them to spend more time on teaching rather than record-keeping.
These represent just a handful of the many benefits currently available. One of the permanent features of information technology is that it continuously evolves and improves, providing teachers with even more options to use in the classroom.
The Fresno Pacific Information Technology in the Classroom Course
As part of its large and growing number of online courses focused on continuing education for teachers, Fresno Pacific University offers a 100% online Classroom Information Technology Certificate. The program provides teachers an opportunity to expand their information technology knowledge while also earning professional development credits.
Teachers can earn the certificate by taking 15 credits from a list of classes (teachers can also take the courses individually without earning the certificate). They include courses on using Google Drive, Google Maps and other Google tools, as well as Twitter, Pinterest, iPads, Chromebook, Nearpod and cloud computing.
Other courses include:
- Computers in the Classroom: Teaching & Learning with Technology
- WebQuests: Implementing Technology Integration
- Web 2.0 Tools for Classroom
- Computer Projects for the Classroom
- Project-Based Learning Using Technology
- The Flipped Classroom
- Create a Classroom Website
- Quiz and Vocabulary Apps for Educators
- Collaboration and Problem-Solving Apps for Educators
- Presentation and Video Apps for Educators
Learning information technology skills for the classroom improves the experience for students and helps teachers do their jobs better, particularly with student engagement. The convenience of online continuing education courses makes it easier than ever for teachers to gain these critical skills.