Last week I wrote about why I believe technology should be integrated into the classroom. Here's why:
1. It's not going anywhere and it is so prevalent in student's lives. By enabling students to use technology in their learning process we are creating authentic, relevant learning spaces for them.
2. Technology can be a means of differentiated instruction. Each student benefits from different techniques, and the use of technology is one of them.
This week I debated how technology is actually enhancing student learning. You can find my debate video below to view the four reasons as to why I believe technology is enhancing student learning.
My first and main point in the video talks about global collaboration. This idea came to me in two separate occasions. First, the CNA Speaking Exchange video (shown below) is an inspiration for many. Students in Brazil were able to enhance their english speaking skills by communicating with seniors in the United States through video chat. While they were developing their english speaking skills, they were also developing strong relationships with the person through the screen. This video will warm you heart, and give you a deeper understanding of how technology has brought people closer from all around the world.
My next inspiration came from one of my idols in education, Pernille Ripp. Pernille talks about the power of technology and what is has done for her students. Technology has not only provided students the necessary skills to excel in the 21st century, but it has also allowed students to feel a sense of belonging. To understand that the world we live in is kind, and that somebody out there believes in you. For some kids, learning can only take place when they feel accepted, and through this feeling they can gain the confidence to be who they want to be. Pernille writes about the TRUE power of technology, and I couldn't agree with her more. It encompasses growth, learning, skills, identity and so much more. Read her post here
An area of controversy that concerns me about the use of technology in classrooms is the discussion that technology is "too distracting." There are many aspects of school that are distracting for learners and yet educators have found strategies and techniques to focus the attention back on the learning. For example, classroom management is essential for student learning, teacher learning and an environment where everyone can be successful. One strategy that I see frequently used in today's classrooms are visual schedules/goals. A visual that helps students understand and focus on what their goal is for that day. Similar strategies should be used for integrating technology. Plopping down a computer in front of a student will not enhance their learning. If there is no direction, no expectations then yes, this device will be a distraction. If you were to put paper and pen in front of a student with no direction, this could also be a distraction. In my last blog post I quoted George Couros, and I think he is a mastermind for saying what he did because it is evident and relevant when it comes to student learning. I will quote him again because I don't think we can hear it enough times. He says, "technology will no replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational." This is pure gold, I love is so much! In conclusion, I believe it is important for educators to engage students through authentic, relevant, fun and creative learning opportunities. To me, this is finding ways in which technology will enhance the engagement of students which in turn will enhance their learning. Half the fun of incorporating technology into the classroom, is learning creative ways into what this looks like!
I would love to know how you are incorporating technology into your classroom in meaningful and engaging ways! Comment below or tweet me.
I have come to the end of my blog post, which means... quote time!! I brought in two of my favourite education guru's throughout this blog, so it's only appropriate I quote them! This one is from Pernille Ripp and I chose it because it really spoke volumes to me. I think it's an idea that you can explore in many directions, just like you can do with technology!
"I became a teacher not to kill a child's love of learning, but to protect it." -Pernille Ripp
Have a great week!