Thanksgiving

4 reasons to be thankful for technology in the classroom

Chromebooks, iPads, Edmodo, network printers, USB drives, Androids, cloud storage, Prezi, virtual reality, LCD projectors and apps.

The vocabulary words above that were at one time nonexistent now fill the conversations of educators and students today. Technology is now at the heart of the classroom experience, but it  can be the bane of a teacher’s existence. If he or she needs to capture students’ attention and ensure they have mastered core concepts, then Chromebooks and apps can get in the way. Teaching can be a frustrating and challenging occupation all by itself. Adding in all of those gadgets and gizmos can be totally overwhelming at times.

Despite the headaches, there is no denying that technology has brought some wonderful positives into the classroom. So raise your SMART board remotes, smile at your dual monitors and give three cheers for these reasons to be thankful for technology in the classroom:

Thank you technology… for new teaching tools.

Teaching tools have come such a long way over the years. Imagine trying to illustrate a scientific experiment with only chalk and a chalkboard or teaching a new concept without an updated textbook. Remember filmstrips, mimeographs and slide projectors?

Teachers used to have to wait years to get new tools in their classrooms. But now that we have the Internet with free applications that download in seconds, we can change our lessons and activities on the fly. Have a kid that just isn’t getting it? Just Google a new tool to teach in a different way.

Check out “The Evolution of Classroom Technology” by Edudemic here for a little teaching nostalgia.

Thank you technology… for time savings.

Speaking of changing up a lesson plan: With Internet tech at their fingertips, teachers can save so much time planning by looking for other lessons online. Technological resources like screen sharing between student and teacher computers can get students to the right place in an online textbook quickly and easily.

Cloud storage resources, such as Google Drive, allow teachers to access files ASAP instead of searching through a file cabinet for an old lesson. Need a quick video to help illustrate a concept? Youtube it! For years, teachers had to present the same lessons with the same activities over and over because it took so much time to change anything. Now, we have a zillion resources at our fingertips to find new ideas or concepts to make our own.

Thank you technology… for better communication.

Before we had technology that informed parents about their kids’ grades, the message was delivered in a note sent home in a backpack. Inevitably, a mischievous student would “lose” the note and keep the parent uninformed of what was going on in class. Now, there is email. A teacher can send a note to a parent any time during the day and inform him or her of everything going on in class.

Because of technology, teachers can now communicate with students more easily, too. Apps like Edmodo allow teachers and students to connect on the Internet from anywhere. The Remind app lets teachers send safe text message reminders to students about tests, permission slips or upcoming events. Network monitoring software allows teachers and students to instant message each other through their laptops and desktop computers in classrooms so that questions can be asked privately without disrupting class. Because of technology, students and teachers are more connected and communicative than ever.

Thank you technology… for fun!

As stated in the introduction, technology in classrooms can be frustrating. But it also can be so much fun! How cool is it that we can project a live view of the Eiffel Tower onto a huge screen in our classrooms because of Google Earth? We can now have a lively game of educational Jeopardy by using smart phones as clickers. We can give kids a virtual reality experience of climbing Mount Everest.

Thanks to technology, we are able to show students how vast and amazing the world is. We can open their eyes to new experiences and give them the tools to educate themselves. We can instill the excitement of discovery by providing fun ways of learning. Thanks technology, for making learning FUN!

This Thanksgiving, Impero Software would like to thank all of our clients for believing in our software solution and for supporting our business. We appreciate you.