Using Technology in the Classroom
Just as there are many modalities in teaching, there are many ways to use technology in the classroom. I remember a decade ago the extent of technology in my classroom was an overhead projector, and a roll-in television. Nowadays, the list of equipment available for the classroom is endless, if there’s money to spare.
Fortunately, my school has a fair amount of equipment for me to choose from. Granted, not every teacher uses what is available to them, but some do. As a result, the students at our school receive a top-notch education with hands-on experience using sophisticated equipment.
I must admit though that after having taught for over 3 decades, change doesn’t always come easy to me. However, I have been trying to take advantage of the wealth of resources available to me. For example, the newest addition to our equipment, the document camera, is an amazing tool in my classroom. The best way to explain its use would be to describe it as a modern day overhead projector. Instead of having to make transparencies it is possible to place a worksheet, test, or any paper by the camera and have it exhibited to the class. It is very compact and can fit in a book bag, and can come in handy in many ways!
Also, in my math classes, I now use PowerPoint presentations to teach difficult concepts. Along with printouts that I hand my students, I present the lesson, using a more detailed, animated presentation and have the students take notes on their slides, adding the information as we go. I must admit, it is tedious work creating these presentations, but once I have them I can use them repeatedly. It sure beats writing the same thing on the board 3 or 4 times a day!
In my experience, the time spent leveraging technology in the classroom has been well worth it. I’ve come to realize that technology is here to help and whenever I hear about a new method I think of ways to introduce it to my class. Like SchoolRack, one of the more recent additions to my classroom. It helps keep my students (and their parents) informed of what’s happening in the classroom at any time so they can tune in to what I have to say outside of the classroom.
Those are just some of my thoughts and experiences — please share any technology insights that you might have or lessons that have worked well for you. Let’s share ideas for our students to reap the benefits!