Schools are adopting new technologies at an ever quickening pace—tablets, smart phones, interactive projectors, even 3-D displays. And the array of technologies that students have access to outside the classroom is almost dizzying. With technology tools in place, there is so much exciting experimentation going on as educators explore the many ways these tools can be used to enhance teaching and learning.
Technology is an amazing tool that enhances the learning process. But on the other hand, the way we integrate technology is often misguided, and we sometimes rely on it too much.
Students really like being able to accomplish a task using technology and seem to work harder and longer at these tasks. In today’s world both students and their parents expect to use technology as a learning tool.
Technology supports self-directed leaning. Students can search out information from a wide variety of resources and then take on the responsibility of evaluating and sharing what they have learned. They get to coach, query, guide and support that learning.
Sites that offer resources on any given topic at different reading and complexity levels, adaptive tests, the ability to post and collect assignments online, dashboards that allow to see at a glance which students are not mastering a concepts, all make it easier to be sure that the needs of every student is met.
Technology is essential if we are to develop 21st century skills—creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration, and of course information, media and technology literacy.
Students should be engaged in problem-solving and critical thinking and need to learn about face-to-face collaboration and communication.
Technology is a useful tool, and is one of the best ways to develop 21st century skill sets.