42 Integrate Digital Technology into Your Classes

Vanessa Herrera

To claim that technology has no place in the classroom is sticking to traditional routes, and denying the change in time. Everything around us is changing and evolving to meet society’s technological demands; cars, grocery stores, phones, TV’s, jobs, etc. So why would educators stick to the same textbook and pen and paper methods? If phones were to have stayed the same as they were years ago where technology wasn’t as far advanced, they wouldn’t be as popular as they are today. If these goods were not to change with the times, they would risk being left behind and forgotten. In the same way, educators need to reevaluate their way of teaching and incorporate more technology because of the fact that it has become a huge role in today’s students’ lives.

Trying to regulate technology in the classroom setting is impossible, especially when teaching students who are digital natives, “those born with unfettered access to technology.” Technology is available to us at a blink of an eye with phones, laptops, and tablets. The availability of technological devices has caused a great demand for students to use it in the classroom. It is an accessible resource to all, and to not take advantage of its various uses would be foolish.

As a college student, we all know the importance these technological devices hold when it comes to being prepared for class. These devices have become a huge necessity for students. Laptops for example have become the new pen and paper. Researcher and writer Beth Holland writes, “Digital notes offer multiple dimensions—text, images, drawing, handwriting, audio, and even video—that paper notes do not. Students need the opportunity to identify strategies that best support their learning.” (Holland). These devices are not just devices but a resource that helps students in achieving their educational goals. This ease of using devices in class is as easy as opening up the device, and starting with a blank sheet on Word or Google Docs and beginning to type away. Technology has allowed students to take notes at a faster rate, and to organize and save their work all together with the simple task of clicking buttons. We all know that students have various learning styles and making them stick to the traditional way of teaching is holding them back from adapting to the new technology era.

Engagement in the classroom is also affected by incorporating technology. It generates different ways of learning rather than sticking to the standard method of lecturing. For instance, interactive websites like Kahoot, Khan Academy, and Google Classroom can help increase students’ attention during class. Websites like these create a less restrictive classroom environment. Students are able to enjoy class time more when there are fun activities being used as an alternative approach to learn the material aside from lecturing. E-learning specialist, J. Barquero writes, “Trainers, educators and even educational platforms now integrate animation into course content to improve not only quality, but also because they have found that increasing student engagement with any educational material can help students better master the concepts, and therefore put aside the “data is boring” mentality.” (Barquero). When it comes to new methods of teaching, interactive websites have the potential to be just as effective if not more effective than traditional instruction.

Technology also accelerates the learning process in the classroom by allowing easy access to information. When it comes to in class discussions, students can add to the conversation with quick research on their devices rather than staying quiet and not participating because of the lack of knowledge they have on the subject. This can increase students’ comfortability and allow them to feel more confident in themselves to participate. While access to the internet is a useful tool for in class discussion, it can also help when challenging times occur like that of the Coronavirus pandemic. Schools had to quickly adapt to the sudden change in instructional methods. Teachers and teachers were both forced to adapt to a new way of teaching and learning. Without the accessibility of technology, this would not have been possible. Editors Farah Lalani and Cathy Li pose the idea that online learning is a successful method of teaching. They write, “due to the students being able to learn faster online; e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom setting because students can learn at their own pace, going back and re-reading, skipping, or accelerating through concepts as they choose.” (Lalani et al). Technology allows students to learn at their own pace and become less dependent on the teacher to retain the material.

Evidently, technology plays a crucial role in our educational development. Whether we like it or not, it will always be a part of our lives and we need to start accepting it rather than challenging it.

 

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Good Ideas About Writing by Vanessa Herrera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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