Our schools are slowly changing to keep up with the world of technological advancement. Ten years ago it may have been rare to find a classroom stocked with computers for each student. Today, on the other hand, classrooms across the nation are equipped with laptops, iPads, interactive white boards and more.
Teachers have to step up to the plate and learn how to use these tools in their classrooms to enhance the students’ education. Some of the most useful tools for learning are interactive, interesting and fun.
An interactive whiteboard, commonly known as a SMART Board, allows the teacher’s computer screen to display on a large white screen in the front of the class.
In addition, the screen is touch sensitive so the students or the teacher can touch the screen to move around the web page. The whiteboards are also equipped with special markers that will show up only on the interactive whiteboard.
Students as young as kindergarten can use the interactive screen to learn new information, play learning games and improve their skills in any subject area. Teachers can create their own slide shows, games, lessons and activities to display on the interactive whiteboard.
Children can play interesting games, create their own presentations, research information on the Internet and communicate via email on an iPad or tablet. They are extremely user-friendly and easy to manipulate.
Teachers can carefully select from a huge and varied selection of apps in any subject from vocabulary to math and everything in between. The teacher’s job is to monitor and guide students as they use this useful tool for a variety of learning tasks.
Another technologically savvy tool that many teachers are taking advantage of is an audience response system. The system allows teachers to quickly and easily check for understanding of both new and old concepts.
The teacher just needs to set up a quiz or test on the computer and display it via a projector or interactive whiteboard.
The students submit their answers by pressing buttons on individual remote controls. The students are typically engaged because it is a novel way of taking a test and teachers get instant results to see who needs extra help or if the class is ready to move on to the next unit.
The most important thing for teachers to remember is that the technology is only as good as the teacher. It is the teacher’s job to ensure students are using the technology appropriately and for educational use. It is never enough to drop the technology in the laps of students without further explanation.
Author bio: Karlee Wiggins blogs about technology and education. She enjoys taking classes at her local university and spending time with her boyfriend in her spare time. Images courtesy Pope High School and College How-Tos