Technology is at the center of our lives in most environments, and the classroom is no exception. Student in today's classrooms have grown up in a world surrounded by technology. They do not know what it is like to experience life without cell phones, computers, televisions and other common tech devices.
Despite this familiarity with technology, educational environments may be slow to integrate technology into the classroom. Many schools still use analog tools, such as books, notebooks, whiteboards and posters in instructional design. This could be attributed to lack of funding. However, some school districts have invested in instructional technology for the classroom by securing grant funding or donations from community and business partners. This includes smart boards to replace outdated projectors as well as personal digital devices such as iPads or Chromebooks.
Technology has the potential to make aspects of education easier and more equitable in many ways. Let's find out how teachers and students can benefit from additional technology in the classroom.
In This Article:
- Embracing Technology in the Classroom
- 8 Benefits of Technology in the Classroom
- What Are Some Examples of Using Technology in the Classroom?
- Using Technology in Teaching: Classroom Technology Tools
- Earning a Teaching Degree and Learning More About the Benefits of Computers for Students
Embracing Technology in the Classroom
Are you ready to start using technology as a teaching tool? Increasingly, educators are recognizing the value of technology in K-12 education, according to an Education Week Special Report.1
As beneficial as using technology in the classroom can be, it’s still important to remember the overall goals: to help students learn, succeed and prepare for life with confidence. With that in mind, teachers and administrators should carefully evaluate each new technology to determine whether it will indeed support intended learning outcomes and enable students to master the lesson plan. Furthermore, educators must collaborate with IT staff to thoroughly vet the privacy and safety standards of any new technology before it’s brought into the classroom.
8 Benefits of Technology in the Classroom
Using technology in your teaching can help many students succeed in their learning. Here are eight top benefits of using technology in the classroom:
1. Increased Student Engagement
Students who use technology in the classroom may be more engaged. When schools have a 1:1 initiative (one device for every student), students benefit because technology can be more smoothly integrated into the curriculum. Many teachers use interactive software and programs as learning technologies so that students can respond to questions and lectures digitally. In addition, gamified learning makes education fun and engaging as they earn badges and move through competencies.
Technology makes it easier for students to collaborate and save their work. Traditionally, when students collaborated, they may have created posters or notes of their work together. However, technology allows students to create digital collections of research and ideas. They can draw and write together in the same program, creating documents and projects that are fully collaborative.
Technology allows some students to be included in the classroom in ways they have never been before. Many students who receive special education can benefit from technology that helps them write, spell, read and do mathematical computation. Word processors can point out spelling mistakes to students. Adaptive readers highlight text or read aloud to students so they can research and use websites like their peers using technology. As technology becomes more prevalent in schools, students who receive special education and use a laptop for help will not stand out or seem out of place.
Technology gives students access to a variety of programs and information sources at the simple click of a button. Teachers can find leveled readers or allow students to choose research topics that fit their interests much more easily than by going to the library where resources may be limited. In addition, teachers can assign programs to help students remediate or expand their knowledge so that students can process or investigate topics further. This work can be done during centers or group work, freeing the teacher to attend to individual students or other small groups. Using technology in this way ensures that all the students get what they need.
Analog tools need to be tended to, cared for and replaced. Using technology allows students to access what they need when they need it. They can keep calendars online, and teachers can push due date reminders in a learning management system (LMS). Word processors do not need to be sharpened and online books do not get lost. Technology allows students instant access to all the materials they need, saving time, space and mental effort.
The content available online is endless. Students who are interested in learning about arts, music, videos — and virtually anything else — can find plenty of resources. Any creative endeavor that calls to a student can be supported by technology. Tablets have the capabilities to capture students' sketches. Editing software lets students bring photos to life and manipulate them in creative ways. Technology can enhance creativity rather than inhibit it if students are given choice about what they create.
A huge benefit of educational technology for teachers is automation. You can upload lessons into an LMS for students to access on their own time. Online assessments make grading easy and parents can automatically be messaged when students receive a failing grade. Teachers are always looking for ways to find more time in the day, and technology can assist in big ways.
8. Future Focus
We do not yet know what types of jobs will be around when many of our students are adults joining the workforce, but we do know that technology is not going anywhere. Students will need strong technology skills to be successful in whatever job or career they may go into after school. Simply having a mindset that embraces the process of learning and using new technology can make a difference in a student's future.
What Are Some Examples of Using Technology in the Classroom?
If you are interested in using online technology aids in the classroom, here are a couple popular methods to help you get started:
Among the many benefits of computers for students in the classroom is the potential to access virtual textbooks. Virtual textbooks connect students to a considerable volume of information in an engaging and accessible way. However, it’s important for school administrators to ensure that students have the necessary digital resources to access these virtual textbooks at home.
Some K-12 schools are taught entirely online, while others have embraced a hybrid online/in-person model. Both can be helpful for supporting student success.
For example, some smaller school districts might not have the resources necessary to offer more than the standard core classes plus a few enrichment courses (art, physical education, etc.) Access to online classes opens the door to greater opportunities to students in these school districts. Whereas before, students might have only had the option of learning Spanish, for example, they may be able to access online courses for German, French or a variety of other languages.
Using Technology in Teaching: Classroom Technology Tools
Technology plays an important role in both virtual and classroom learning. FlipGrid and Zoom are a couple useful tools you can use in your classroom to help get both students and parents engaged.
FlipGrid is a video discussion platform for students of all ages. It’s much like an online discussion forum for a class, but in video format. The teacher posts a video topic pertaining to the lesson plan and the students record their own discussion videos and post them to the grid.
FlipGrid can offer greater accessibility and engagement for students than traditional text-based discussion platforms. It’s also easy to learn how to use, and there is a free version.
Zoom is the web-based videoconferencing platform that many people relied upon for meetings during the pandemic. It’s also handy for teachers, and not only for those teaching online classes.
Consider implementing Zoom technology in other useful ways, such as virtually bringing a guest speaker to class. You might even suggest Zoom meetings for parent-teaching conferences as a way to boost parental involvement.
Earning a Teaching Degree and Learning More About the Benefits of Computers for Students
The benefits of technology in the classroom are undeniable. As you can see, a teaching career offers limitless potential for innovation. From using technology in teaching to boosting student engagement and parental involvement, you could make a considerable difference in your community as a teacher.
Your first step toward becoming a teacher is to earn a teaching degree. You have many options to choose from. Start by considering which age group you’d like to teach. For example, you could earn a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education or a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.
If you decide you’d like to teach older kids, you’ll need to specialize in a particular subject area, as well. For instance, if you are passionate about the power of language, you might pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education.
Be sure that the degree you select leads to teacher licensure for the state in which you plan to work. In addition to taking coursework in pedagogy and your subject area, you will gain practical experience with a student teaching rotation. You’ll also need to meet other licensure requirements for your state, such as passing a background check.
If you are interested in learning how educational technology can benefit your classroom, join us at Grand Canyon University for any of our teaching degree programs. Many of them have a technology-focused approach that will help you learn to integrate new skills and new ways of using technology in your classroom. Fill out the form at the top of your screen to take the next step in your academic journey.
1EdWeek (n.d.) The Future Classroom: What Will It Look Like and How Will It Be Different? Education Week. Retrieved February 2023.
Approved by the associate dean for the College of Education on March 14, 2023.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.