Posted on August 24, 2015, by Jessica Sanders
Conversations about technology in education always seem to be focused on the reasons why students need this or that technology. It’s rare when anyone considers the other—and perhaps more important—angle: Students want to learn with technology.
By empowering student learning with more opportunities for them to communicate with classmates, you’ll soon realize how important technology is in the classroom. These five reasons why students want to learn with technology can help you and your teacher-friends determine the right technology to implement.
They want to learn at a comfortable speed.
While students should be pushed to step out of their comfort zones and try new things, they should also be free to learn at a pace that is comfortable for them. Students will be turned off from reading or math if they’re constantly required to tackle content or lessons that are too difficult for them to understand.
Technology makes it easier to personalize every lesson for different students with tools like Books That Grow, an online, leveled reading platform, or Activate Instruction, a personalized learning “playlist” tool.
They want to interact with their classmates.
We live in a connected world, where students are in constant communication with their friends, whether it’s via social media, texting or another digital channel. Technology in the classroom makes it easier than ever for students to communicate with their classmates in a familiar format.
Some teachers are understandably unsure about bringing social networks like Facebook or Twitter into their classroom. Encourage students to interact with their classmates in a safe manner using tools like Whooo’s Reading, ClassChatter or even Google Docs with Gaggle Safety Management.
They’re used to having technology at their fingertips.
“Just Google it” is a phrase we’ve all become accustomed to, especially students who are growing up in this technology-driven world. Digital natives are used to having instant access to information, and with technology in the classroom we can allow them to seek out these resources.
They feel empowered.
Most of the digital citizens sitting in a classroom are tech-savvy. When we introduce tools or concepts that they’ve already mastered, they will not only feel like they’re off to a good start, but they’ll also be more empowered to teach their classmates. This creates a more active learning experience for everyone.
For every tech tool, name a few students as “experts,” giving them a chance to be teachers. Students will be motivated, engaged and excited to play this special role in the classroom.
They already have computers in their pockets.
Most students have cell phones with them at all times during the day and know how to use them to access the Internet and their favorite apps. Instead of banning these tools, use them to your advantage. Implement a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy that allows students to use mobile devices for lessons and collaborative group work. They’ll be excited to use their phone in school and likely be more engaged.
Ask yourself why students want technology in the classroom, rather than why they need it, to discover exactly why technology holds such an important spot in educating students today.
Jessica Sanders is the Director of Social Outreach for Learn2Earn, an online fundraising platform that allows students raise money by reading books. She grew up reading books like The Giver and Holes, and is passionate about making reading as exciting for young kids today as it has always been for her. Follow Learn2Earn on Twitter and Facebook, and send content inquiries to email@example.com.