Thursday, November 17, 2011

Technology use in the classroom

I must confess that I grew up in the 80’s and was a teenager during the 90’s. The necessities to life as a teen in the 90’s included Aquanet hairspray, Guess jeans, and a sophisticated taste for the fine selection of 90’s music.  Smart phones, social networks, and e-mail were not part of our daily lives.

Fast forward “several” years down the road and a life without such technologies would seem foreign to most of our teenagers.  As I read this interesting article about teenage cell phone usage, I was taken back to my own years as a teenager and how the social norms have changed since that time.

Our students, both children and teens, are using technology on a daily basis. They use it to socialize and to find entertainment. Our jobs as educators is to simply harness that interest to teach students how to use those same technologies in a manner that will be productive when they enter the workforce.

Photo by Wesley Fry, Creative Commons License
Technology in the classroom should be seamlessly integrated. Teachers should focus on planning with the curriculum in mind first and then find ways that the technology can support the student’s learning.

Lastly, technology use within the classroom should be aimed towards teaching students how to adapt the abilities they currently possess to help them learn new technologies.  Our students will not benefit from simply learning how to use a singular program. Rather, teaching students how the skills they learn can be applied to learning new or more advanced skills. This ability to adapt will ensure our students are able to master the technology that they will encounter as a productive citizen.

The social norms that our students face today are more complex than the love ballads of the 90’s. As educators, we can use the current trends in technology usage to equip our students with a valuable skill set that will ensure they are successful in the workforce. Technology use in the classroom is a necessity to prepare our students for the global market.

Guest post by: M. Fulton 

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