As a teacher, it is very likely you understand the necessity of classroom technology. The area where perhaps you need help is in the technical training to make it easy to teach these concepts to your students. After all, the technology options of today have gone way beyond the calculators and overhead projectors of yesterday.
If you take a quick look around, you’ll see that kids of today use the Internet to find information, share their research with kids throughout the world and post their thoughts on blogs and social networking sites. If you aren’t a part of this phenomenon, how do you teach it to your kids? Any attempt without the proper training and they will see right through you. It could easily be a case of the student becoming the teacher.
In fact, the PEW Internet & American Life Project discovered 93 percent of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 are online. Another 89 percent of teens report that technology, in the form of the Internet, cell phones and other devices, make their lives much easier. Based on this information, classroom technology is even more relevant today than previously thought.
Consider the National School Boards Association study which found 96 percent of students with access to the Internet have used social networking of some kind. These tools include blogging, instant messaging and online communities. Surprisingly, these students are actually discussing educational topics 59 percent of the time, including schoolwork and college applications.
Simply being tech savvy isn’t enough for students to make it in the 21st century, nor is it enough for you to be able to prepare your students to be able to effectively compete. To date, technology education is not making the grade and part of the problem is a lack of access to the proper tech training for educators. Believe it or not, many of the tools you need to expand your capabilities and enhance your classroom are at your fingertips.
While you can start with the Internet, why not start first with your own school library? Your librarian likely already has access to a whole wealth of resources that can be used to enhance your classroom technology. Perhaps your library offers a variety of videos for viewing in the classroom or perhaps there is a computer lab within the library itself. Even better, ask your librarian. Chances are, he or she has already received training on presenting more technology in their own lesson plans. Learn from their knowledge.
Once you have explored this option, look to the Internet and education sites to see what they have to offer. There are literally thousands of technological options online that can be used to introduce classroom technology beyond face value. If you aren’t sure where to start, do a simple Google search on technology options for the classroom and go from there. You may be amazed at what you can find to your benefit.