Nowadays, technology is becoming a necessary part of the classroom. In an increasingly technology-dependent world, teachers are finding creative ways to bring technology into the classroom, engaging their students and seeing positive results in the classroom and with student productivity. A master’s degree in educational technology leadership can help build on your existing knowledge in this area and prepare you for implementation in the classroom.
Ideas for in the classroom
Many schools have technology available for teachers to use. Whether teachers are renting computer labs or digital cameras, utilizing these resources can help create inventive and engaging lessons in the classroom. Also, when teaching secondary grades, many students will have some sort of smart device, phone or tablet they can use.
There are plenty of apps, which you and/or the student can download as part of a lesson or as supplemental resources. Nearpod is an app in which the teacher can upload notes as a .pdf file and insert various questions, polls, videos, and interactive features that the students can interact with on their own device. All they need is the app and passcode, which the teacher provides. The best part is that the teacher controls how fast the slides go. Using this app, students feel more engaged in the lesson and enjoy interacting with the features rather than staring at a PowerPoint presentation projected against a classroom wall.
Teachers can also use technology in helping with classroom discipline. Classroom dojo is a website/app where the teacher sets up a character for each student in his or her classroom. The teacher can assign points and give awards to reinforce behaving positively, being on task, or going above and beyond the expectations of the classroom. Parents can also see how their student is progressing as well, so it becomes a tool for inside and outside the classroom.
Ideas for outside the classroom
In this day and age where we all feel (and for the most part are) connected, using online tools outside the classroom will give students the opportunity to take control of their own learning. Many districts are beginning to set up school emails for all their students starting in middle school. Oftentimes the email accounts are set up through Google and students can use the accounts throughout their academic careers. Google accounts give the teacher the opportunity to set up email lists, send important documents, and have a direct line to the students if they have questions. Giving the students this outlet helps them easily reach out to the teacher and take control of their own learning.
Classroom websites are becoming more popular among educators and are almost a staple in many classrooms. With a website, the teacher can easily post extra copies of notes, homework, or extra practice links for the current topic being taught. This gives both parents and students a great resource if a paper has been lost or the student has been absent. It also gives parents a direct link to what is being taught in the classroom.
Teaching with technology can feel a bit overwhelming, especially with the amount of resources out there. However, as a teacher, you can take baby steps to integrate technology every year. A master’s in educational technology can provide that extra support you need to help you feel more successful in the classroom.