Gone are the days of parchment and clay, we live in a world filled with technology – this is a fact. We live in a world of information at our fingertips and as educators, it’s important for us to find ways to effectively incorporate this technology into the classroom. When used correctly, it can be a useful tool for both the teacher and the students in the classroom.
I’m a huge believer of integrating technology into the classroom for many reasons. The first is personalized learning. Every student in my class is learning at a different level and at a different rate – some learn faster than others, some need extra time and this is okay. My role is to facilitate this learning as best as possible and one of the tools that I find useful is Raz-Kids. If you’re unfamiliar with Raz-Kids, it’s an online and interactive guided reading program. For me, this program is perfect because I can make a profile for each of my students, load the leveled books they’re on, track their learning and even send them messages to encourage their learning. The program also breaks down which skills need improvement and which areas I need to reintroduce or spend more time teaching.
Reason #2 is high engagement! Students these days gravitate towards technology. As an instructor, I like to look for apps that can help further their learning whether that’s a fun math game, fine motor practice or even spelling and grammar review. There are a plethora of apps out there that can supplement our regular curricular activities. High engagement always equals higher motivation towards learning.
Reason #3 is independent learning. It’s important for me that my students learn to take control over their own learning. This means teaching them a variety of ways they can use their technological tools to complete their assignments or projects. Whether it’s looking up an unfamiliar word, typing an assignment or searching for an answer to a question that might help deepen their understanding of the content we’re learning.
In an ever-changing classroom environment, technology can be a great learning resource for students when used effectively. More importantly, it allows us to teach safe and appropriate ways to use the Internet and technology.
Written by: Jennifer Cheung teacher at the Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre