Technology in the Classroom – Stay Cutting-Edge – Encourage Differentiated Learning and Creativity

The education world needs to embrace technology in the classroom. First of all, 21st century education is to promote COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION, CREATIVITY and CRITICAL THINKING. The first two are by- products of technology in the classroom and creativity happens as a result of effectively using computer, ipads and social media for educational purposes. Critical thinking is another discussion, but the opportunities are endless with interaction, blogging and discussion.

The probability of effectively using an evolving technology or medium that changes almost daily is an obvious problem for schools. First teachers do need training and of course this would need to be ongoing to keep up with the addition of educational applications and change. Even if teachers didn’t use the latest app, there are so many that are excellent and serve the needs of a wide variety of learners that not being state-of-the-art would be better than not using any of it.

Professional development is needed for teachers even if they don’t want one more thing to do or take their time. Appropriately trained administrative/teaching staff is needed to do the research on technology and help teachers use these applications in their classrooms. This person may even do a classroom lesson from time to time. I know this takes a believer in this philosophy and of course, money, or differently appropriated funds. Doing this would solve other problems such as differentiated learning and implementing integrated curriculum. One person in a building to meet these needs for all of the teachers would be the ideal. I don’t need to specify the details – you can imagine all of the offerings that can happen with education like this.

Educators are aware of the need for technology. There is fear of it in many ways(using a phone may enable kids to text their friends or cheat on tests).  News bulletin to teachers: Kids are texting in class constantly. They have figured out how to hide their phone.  On the other hand, many teachers have enthusiasm knowing the ability technology has to reach a wide variety of learners. They need help and time.

Many teachers and administrators feel somehow corrupted by someone else doing the teaching (the technology). Teachers like to talk and share what they know and would have to transition to become educational facilitators rather than “teachers” to make this work well. That change would impact teacher training-a very needed change, IMHO. I hear over and over “I am not going to do technology for technology’s sake.” These ideas are not that. It is time to step up to student’s needs and offer them all of these possibilities. This is an opportunity for creative expression and to become aware of many career opportunities for the world of the future.

I know what we should do and even how to do it with teachers. How do you think we can get there?

Categories: 21st Century Education, Arts Integrated Education, Education reform, foster workforce readiness, Innovation, ipad, social/emotional wellness, STEAM, STEM education, technology, technology in the classroom, Uncategorized, web 2.0 for classroomTags: , , , , , , ,


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