If you are a new teacher or educator, the idea of incorporating technology into your classroom can be quite a challenge. Unless your education and training included technology integration, you would be at a loss about what to do (although some may already have basic ideas).
The use of technology inside classrooms is actually a popular practice among schools that have embraced modern technological advances. Various surveys prove that students are now using technology to help them perform better in school. Quite a large percentage of students bring their tablets and laptops to school, using the device to take down lecture notes and to help them in various research-related activities.
Additionally, school and university libraries now have special sections for Wi-Fi-connected computers, which students use for completing different subject or course requirements. It is important, however, for the students to know how to properly use their devices; that they know their limits. It is important, too, for the teacher to know how to integrate technology into her lessons or classroom activities.
1. First things first; you need to communicate with your students’ parents.
Before you ask your students to bring their devices to class, talk to their parents first. Let them know what your plans are and what reasons you have for allowing the students to bring their laptops and tablets to class. Be as specific as you can. Let them know how the device will be used, what devices are allowed in the classroom, and how often the devices will be used in class. Likewise, it is important to give the parents a copy of your technology use in the classroom rules and safety precautions.
2. Inform your school or university technician that students will be bringing their gadgets to class.
You may know how to use computers and tablets, but you may not be an expert, too. As such, it is important to give your school or university’s tech guy a heads up in case you and your students will need technical help. Do not forget to give the technician a list – a specific one – of all the gadgets you are expecting your students to bring.
3. During the class activity or discussion, go around and monitor your students’ gadget or device usage.
This is especially important if you intend to open Wi-Fi access for your students. One of the main reasons for monitoring your students’ device usage in the classroom is to make sure that they are doing what you asked them to do and not simply browsing through Facebook and other social media sites. You also need to ensure that students are following your rules and guidelines. Make sure that no one is playing online games, chatting, or streaming movies. Close monitoring of your students’ activities on their devices will also help eliminate the possibility of exposing one’s self to online predators.
4. Some activities that you can do include blogging, online research, and creating a video or podcast.
It is important to have a clear idea of what you intend for your students to do while online. Here are some examples you can follow:
-Blogging: This can be a good practice for English grammar and punctuation. Likewise, blogging can also help your students develop their creative skills. This can be a monthly activity where students can freely discuss their thoughts and ideas about certain issues related to your lesson or classroom activities.
-Online Research: Teach your students how to use Google to do online research. Give them a topic or a subject that they can work on. Don’t forget to ask them for their finished report at the end of the class period!
-Creating a Video or Podcast: The first thing you should do is teach your students how to use YouTube. Ask them to create an account. This can be an individual or group activity. Of course, you have to provide the topics for their videos. Explain to them that what they are making are educational and informative videos. A podcast, an audio file uploaded online for download, is also a good idea. Be sure to ask your students to ask for the link/s to their YouTube video or their podcast.
5. Another possible activity you can do is a photography contest using Facebook or Flickr.
Students love anything that’s visually attractive, like photos. Therefore, you can give your students a photography project using either Facebook or Flickr. For example, you can give them a topic like “How to ______” and they have to take photos of the step involved in making that particular object. Then they need to post their photos in an album on Facebook or Flickr. Make this activity a contest to generate more interest and excitement.