- Be the facilitator: Technology isn’t effective if the teacher replaces their presence with multimedia. Technology has the ability to customize learning in a classroom with multiple learning styles, engage students with interactive examples, and to be creative in a new dimension. Use multimedia tools to enhance the classroom, not supplant the teacher.
In a recent Academic Coaches Training at LifeBound, some attendees voiced concern about the relationship they had with technology in their classroom. Are they supposed to be secondary to the new technology? Or, is the technology supplementary to the educator? When new tools of any kinds are introduced in the classroom, whether they be new pedagogies, electronic tools, assistants, etc., the environment will change and adjustments have to be made. Below I’ve outlined suggestions on positive ways educators can perceive technology so they don’t feel inferior:
- Technology is a form of expression: Technology gives some students the opportunity they’ve been waiting for to express themselves. Some students might not be inspired to create a model, write a paper, or give a presentation that represents a piece of literature, an event in history, or a personal story. Using technology, students can create videos, websites, video games, music, slideshows, and much more that allow them to express themselves in a medium they’re comfortable in. If students aren’t creating, they are bored. Way too many American students are bored. Technology is a welcome remedy to boredom.
- It’s the tool of the future: 1 in 2 Americans will have a smart phone by Christmas 2011. Educators who resist using technology are putting their students at a disadvantage. They will need to know how to operate basic technology found in the classroom for the rest of their schooling, their careers, and in life when they need to network, find a new job, or further their education. For educators who are uncomfortable with technology, they can recruit their own students to teach them what they need to learn. Teachers will no longer be the “sage on the stage,” but if all students can be sages through collaborative learning and effective use of technology, then more students will truly learn and more teachers will have had an impact at the end of the day.