By Mike Kirby on 12/12/18 11:19 AM
There is a lot of concern about the amount of time children spend looking at screens—and not without reason. There are plenty of studies outlining the physical and mental dangers of too much time staring at a phone or a computer. But that doesn’t mean that all technology—and all technology uses—are bad. Technology can also help in lots of ways, including how students learn.
Here are eight benefits from using technology in the classroom:
- Engagement. When I was in middle school, smartboards just started appearing in some of my classrooms. Smartboards are interactive whiteboards that use touch detection. I remember seeing it for the first time and being amazed. I could click the “pen” button and use my finger to draw on the screen with this pen. In some classes, we would play games on the smartboard and go to the front of the room to click objects on the screen. This smartboard engaged my learning in completely new ways—I was so intrigued by this technology that I soaked up more knowledge when we used it.
- Accessibility. Long ago were the days when you had to move to the front of the room if you couldn’t see the whiteboard. Even worse, some students just accept their fate and poor eyesight and stay in the back of the classroom, missing out on valuable learning. New technology brings smart whiteboards with zooming capabilities, clearer projectors, and even individual tablets that gives each student easy access to information.
- More collaboration and constructivism. Students no longer have to hand-write their essays and turn them in, hoping for the best. Collaboration tools allow students to give feedback to each other or work together on projects. On top of that, it is much easier for students to go back to revise and improve their work when it’s all saved on a tablet or computer.
- Saving time. Technology in the classroom can save teachers time with grading so they can spend more time individually with each student. Teachers can also collaborate more effectively with students and provide consistent feedback. Technology facilitates communication, which is why it is used in the workplace. That same communication can be facilitated in the classroom. Advanced technology isn’t something that should be only used in college or an office—it needs to be incorporated into every stage of learning.
- Access to more information. Technology can give students unlimited access to information. Problem solving is becoming a necessary skill in the workplace. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s important to be able to figure it out. There won’t always be someone there to answer your questions, and employers are impressed by people who do their best to solve problems with the resources they have. Technology can give you access to information to help answer questions, curb curiosity, or share knowledge with others.
- Encourage responsibility. Technology allows students to control more of their own learning. Students must learn responsibility to stay up to date with their school work. On top of this, students must use responsibility to take care of this technology.
- Preparation for future careers. Businesses keep up with technology changes to increase their competitive advantage. Students need to be technology savvy if they want to increase their chances of getting the job they want. Businesses expect graduates to have the most knowledge about current technology. Bringing technology into the classroom for young students can help them get a jumpstart in this competency with a variety of technology.
- Make the lives of students a little easier. Textbooks are getting bigger and bigger, and backpacks are getting heavier and heavier. Digital textbooks can help students lighten the load in their backpacks, encouraging better posture and reducing back pain.
The incorporation of technology in the classroom does not have to detract from other types of learning—students are still being exposed to all the core subjects and necessary knowledge. They will still learn how to handwrite and communicate effectively in person. Technology is just an addition to all this other learning—it is something they will be exposed to and need to understand for the rest of their lives, so including it while they are young can help them be prepared for what’s to come in the future. For more tips about how technology can improve life today and prepare you for life tomorrow, subscribe to our blog.