Digital devices are already a large part of students’ personal lives - just witness the number of them holding smartphones or tablets. And once these students enter the workforce, computers and other digital systems will also become a huge part of their professional lives.
The familiarity with technology in the youngest generation is one of the reasons more teachers are incorporating technology in the classroom. Students become accustomed to using technology in an educational context and may even improve their grades.
Certainly, classroom technology has opened doors for teachers that did not exist before. With an Internet connection, teachers everywhere can access a wealth of information, no matter the size or budget of the school district.
Technology has also supported teachers in furthering their own education. Online continuing education classes offer teachers opportunities that include independent study, workshops and certificate programs.
Teachers and Technology
Classroom technology offers a variety of advantages for teachers. Teachers as a group were among the first to understand the potential of the Internet, apps and other technology in the classroom. A survey by PBS LearningMedia from earlier this decade found that 74 percent of Pre-K through 12th-grade teachers found technology helped them expand and reinforce content for students.
A study from The Ohio State University listed many of the advantages of technology in the classroom, including the following:
- State-of-the-art information available on the Internet at any time, even on “the most arcane subjects”
- Image, video and written information on events all over the world
- Vast data available on a wide range of subjects including population growth, the environment, ocean currents, weather patterns and sporting events
- Virtual ﬁeld trips to remote locations
- Animations of different biological and chemical processes
Some studies have also indicated that using technology in the classroom has led to better student achievement. For example, a recent study from the University of Dammam in Saudi Arabia reported that results indicated “a significant relationship between students' use of technology and their achievements in physiology courses at the colleges of health.”
How Teachers Can Better Use Technology
Teachers now have the option to pursue education online, in some cases earning certificates in specialized areas such as technology. One such program is offered by Fresno Pacific University, called the Classroom Technology Integration Certificate.
Students in the certificate program have many choices. They include the following:
Computer Projects for the Classroom. This course educates teachers on leveraging technology “to increase academic achievement and teacher effectiveness.”
Internet: The Connected Classroom. This course provides the skills teachers need to most effectively put the Internet to use in teaching students.
WebQuest: Implementing Technology Integration. Gives teachers information on the theories and practical application of the popular WebQuest model.
All Things Google. Google offers many free tools. In this class, teachers learn to apply them to the classroom.
Cloud Computing for Educators. With the cloud, there’s no need to download or purchase software. The cloud offers many tools for educators through cloud hosting and are accessible from anywhere, through any device.
Quiz and Vocabulary Apps for Educators. A detailed look at which apps work best for different grade levels and subject matter, among other considerations.
Technology is now part of everyone’s life - including teachers. How teachers apply technology is the key to success. Learning through online continuing education can support them in becoming better at integrating technology in the classroom.