Technology has taken education by storm. From kindergarten classrooms to graduate degree programs, as effective as technology can be in the classroom, there still are times when integrating new technology can be ineffective, resulting in disappointing outcomes.
#1: No objectives, predetermined outcomes or assessment.
Technology brings very unique learning experiences into the classroom, allowing instructors to do things like flipped classroom models and incorporate more knowledge retention rather than the mere regurgitation of materials. Without clear objectives, outcomes and assessment, technology can become an added responsibility for instructors and students with no real advantages for learning.
When integrating technology into the curriculum, it’s important to start with objectives. Those objectives should lead to measurable learning outcomes for your students. Additionally, it’s very important to assess both the student outcomes as well as the effectiveness of the use of technology. By doing this, educators can continue to improve the classroom environment.
#2: No instructional strategies.
Integrating technology into the classroom does not simply mean allowing students to complete their work online or incorporating the use of an electronic textbook over the print version. An effective integration involves a defined strategy that takes into account student readiness as well the expected student achievement.
Take the time to track student progress. Outline where students are and where you’d like students to be by certain benchmarks such as midterms and the end of a learning period. Taking the time to define clear strategies can ensure that you are incorporating technology to improve learning outcomes and not only having technology for technology’s sake.
#3: No preparation for the technology environment.
Teachers should consider the classroom environment and whether it’s conducive to bring technology in the classroom. Think about what changes should be made to the way your classroom is setup to ensure your use of technology is most effective for your students. Lastly, be mindful that technology can fail. Develop backup plans and strategies that can easily be incorporated should the technology be unavailable for you or your students. The last thing you want to do is interrupt learning because of temporary downtime.
Technology in the classroom can drastically improve the retention and engagement in the classroom. There are many positives you can expect. Keep in mind, however, that integrating technology does take a bit of work from both educators and administrators to ensure students are getting the best experience possible.
Take the time to outline your strategies and objectives for integrating technology into your schools and don’t be afraid to reach out to trusted partners to help along the way.