Technology in the classroom

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by adactio Jeremy Keith
Think about how technology has changed over the years.
Compare what you are using now in the classroom with the different technologies that were used by your teachers when you were at school and when studying at tertiary level. Perhaps you can recall your teacher using a slide projector, a film projector, or overhead transparencies? The use of technology in the classroom is not new, but the type of technology keeps changing all the time, and rapidly! For an amusing bit of history, watch the video clip Technology in the classroom is not a new idea (1.16 min) by Amy Stermer.
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
This is the main type of technology that we will discuss in this topic. Anything that can be used to communicate information can be included, and the variety and range is huge. Can you think of something right away that is useful for learning? Learning management systems, such as Moodle, are in common use in tertiary organisations today. We will cover this topic in more detail later on.

When planning to use technology, it is important to think about how the tools will enhance teaching and/or learning, both inside and outside the classroom. As a result of ICT, students can be engaged in learning, anytime, anywhere and anyhow. Some of it will be teacher-directed but much of it will be student-directed. This is also called flexible learning.

Using technology
Don't simply use it for technology's sake or because you have been told to use it! Think first, what you want your students to learn, how you want them to learn it, and then consider which technologies can be used. For example, you may want your students to research information about a topic and then put it together to share with the class. Are there digital tools that could help them to do this? There sure are, and the choice is vast. Your role as teacher, it to help your students select the right tool for the job. We will consider this further in the topic on Web 2.0 tools, coming up next.

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1. To start you thinking about technology in the classroom, please make a list of all the technologies or digital tools that you currently use in your teaching. These headings can be used to categorise your choices.

(a) hardware
(b) software
(c) web-based tools (require the Internet)
(d) mobile applications also called 'apps' (used with smartphones and tablets).

2. This video Teaching in the 21st century (9.27 min) by Sonja Delafosse will hopefully give you lots of ideas.

Write down at least three technologies that you could use in the classroom, and how you might use them.
What do believe students expect in the way of technology for their learning?
Write down some ideas in your portfolio, and share with the class.


Extra resources

View these video clips to get some ideas for using different technologies. Or you might prefer to go to Youtube and find your own. Don't forget to share resources with the others in your class.
Top ten tips for using technology in the classroom (4.01 min) by Box of Tricks, and
ITC - Examine Ways To Integrate Technology In The Classroom - Teacher Professional Development (10.02 min) by SimpleK12.