Teachers are the most respected people because they are able to teach diversity.
One teacher may teach a class of students who will in future be doctors, engineers, pilots, lawyers, economists, etc. It is such a fulfilling profession. But as times go by, new developments arise. Technology has advanced, and people have devised new ways of doing things. Teachers have thus come under pressure to conform to the use of educational technology resources in imparting knowledge to students.
As a teacher, we understand that you are bombarded with many things such as prepping students for examinations, ensuring that you meet the course coverage requirements, ensuring everyone in the class is at par, etc. You will be delighted to know that some of these tasks that bombard you can be simplified with the use of educational technology resources. Here are some 5 best educational technology resources that are poised to improve your teaching style.
1. Scaffolds and Tools
Scaffolds and tools are quite important in problem-solving. They can help students greatly in solving problems. Their origin goes way back to 1945 when computers were depicted as systems that would have multi-functional capabilities. They were to be used in research for supportive functions. They were also understood to be a means through which the human mind would be freed to pursue its innate creative capacities.
The most basic computer-based technology to have been used in the classroom resembled flashcards. They were used by students to practice discretionary skills. As time progressed, the tools became more sophisticated. They now included function probes, calculators, graphing programs, and even mathematical supposers. They further advanced to include modeling programs which were used to create and test models of complicated phenomena.
What is the modern-day challenge for teachers?
Educators of the present time are challenged to design technologies that integrate both human cognition and technological know-how to facilitate learning in classrooms. This is the scaffold thought whereby technology is used as a training medium to enhance the process where students learn without any support. A student who can demonstrate that he/she knows some concept without help is one who has fulfilled educational requirements. Teachers should use the scaffold thinking to stimulate their learners to undertake advanced activities with a mindset that transcends conventional thinking.
The internet can also be a vital educational technological resource that can be used by teachers. Through WebQuests, teachers can let their students search the web for particular information that is of relevance. For example, history students may be asked to search for architectural monuments that were built in various parts of the world and their significance. The students would have to search the internet to get this information.
The beauty of WebQuests is that they are easy to construct and to administer. They are a great way to integrate the World Wide Web in an institutional curriculum. They also help students to research diverse topics. What a perfect way for teachers to introduce the World Wide Web to students!
3. A Class Blog
This is surely unprecedented. Blogs have always been a reserve for writers who want to express their thoughts and opinions on certain subjects, interests, and matters. Most of the time, they are the culmination of a writer's passion in a certain subject. So how could blogs be effective as an educational resource? First, it is a creative way of integrating technology into the classroom. Since blogs contain useful information, they can be used to develop the knowledge of students on particular matters.
Secondly, blogs can be a tool that teachers could use to drive an out of class agenda. They can be a great resource where the students don't spend much time in class.
Thirdly, they can be a great tool for disseminating information about new developments in a certain field of study. Students could keep abreast of advancements through the blog in a convenient and fun way.
A blog is central in the efforts of a teacher to embrace connected learning. Authorities in the blogging world attribute that connected learning through blogs enables students to develop in a holistic and wholesome way. It integrates academics, social lives, and common interests. 96 % of teachers think it increases engagement.
Students can also learn to air their opinions and thoughts on diverse issues on the blog. They can engage in constructive debate as they comment on certain issues that have been brought to the forefront.
4. A Class Web Page
This is directed to class teachers and facilitators. What better way to integrate classroom affairs with technology than through a class web page? Some may see it as an unnecessary thing, but class web pages embody the face of the modern classroom. Students can receive updates, announcements, and other classroom essentials through an exclusive web page. It could serve the following purposes:
- A place for posting announcements
- A place for posting class timetables
- A social platform for class members
- A store of class photos
- A place to download class resource materials and assignments
- Platform to upload term papers, research papers, assignments, etc.
As a teacher, you should be the administrator of the web page. When searching for the appropriate web domain, try settling for something that is closely related to your classroom. You can use webs.com – a service that gives both free and premium web services.
5. Embrace Multimedia Presentations
In a modern classroom, hard copies of presentations should be unheard of. This goes both ways, that is, teachers and students alike shouldn't be seen trying to read from volumes of printed materials when doing presentations. The modern classroom should embrace digital presentations that are filled with multimedia content. A PowerPoint presentation should be the face of any classroom presentation. It should be enhanced and livened up by the use of photos, videos, flowcharts, diagrams, and audio. As a teacher, you should show prowess by mastering the art of lively PowerPoint presentations. Afterward, teach your students to embrace the same. You can even offer tutorials on how to come up with the best multimedia presentation. Some educators have even gone to the extent of using presentations as a tool for review of what their students have grasped in a semester.
There are various ways in which teachers can utilize educational technological resources in their work. We have only considered 5 which have been proved and tested by many educators. But in all these, teachers and students alike should begin thinking of technology as a tool that can facilitate learning. It is only through such thoughts and attitudes that technology can serve its full purpose as a facilitator of education.