Educators – especially teachers who integrate technology into the classroom – it must be tough to keep up with all the strategies.
When writing resumes for teachers, administrators, media librarian specialists, technology specialists, or any other positions in education, I’ve read so many ways they find success with integrating technology into the classroom. The hiring trends for education technology jobs is on the rise.
Technology integration takes skill, patience, practice, and ongoing learning. Learning technology is a 24/7 type of quest to keep up. This is why it is important to pick and choose what to learn to best optimize your students’ learning.
Unique Ideas to Integrate Technology into the Classroom to Optimize Student Learning
21st-century learners know technology plays an ever-increasing role in society. Students are the first individuals to learn about and adapt to new products. Therefore, it only seems natural to integrate it into the classroom.
Technology has numerous uses and benefits that can help enhance your classroom, and thus, improve the learning experience. By using various products, software, and websites, as a teacher, you will be able to reach out to your students in a way like never before.
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It will engage the learners, accommodate multiple intelligences, and leave a positive and lasting impression of education. Not only will these tips help your students, but they will also assist in your professional development as well.
Visit a Virtual Zoo
If you are not close enough to visit a decent zoo, there is an online alternative. For example, the San Diego Zoo has posted several videos on its website that introduces individuals to its vast array of wildlife. Students can tour the zoo and view the habitats of pandas, polar bears, elephants, and apes. There is also a list of interesting science experiments that students, particularly the younger ones, will enjoy.
Discovery’s Animal Planet also has some videos and links that will help you educate your students about various animals and their natural environment. There are many other websites that you can find that will help you teach an informative and engaging class on the science of animal life. As well, you may want to ask your class if they would like to make their virtual zoo that includes maps, photos, and written information.
Keep Education Alive During the Summer
Education does not, and should not, have to stop during July and August. By encouraging your students to keep learning during the summer, they will have a much easier time adapting to school when they return in the fall and will not have lost valuable knowledge and skill sets during the summer months.
The trick is to make summer learning fun, exciting, and rewarding for the students. Remind your class that there are plenty of engaging websites, online games, and software programs that they can continue using throughout the summer.
Since it is a fantastic idea to promote outdoor activity during the warm weather, ask students to create their photo or video projects based on landscapes around them or the family vacations they take. Collaborate with colleagues to design exciting return-to-school projects that are to be completed during the summer before students enter their new classroom.
Promote or Lead a Technology Camp
Another tip for integrating technology into the classroom is to support or lead a technology camp. During the summer months, many children enroll in one or two camps during July and August. Instead of sponsoring or teaching at a sports or physical activity-based camp, choose one that is focused on technology instead. Not all students are interested in sports; there are those that wish to use the computer or some other form of technology.
Depending on the resources and funding, your technology camp can integrate numerous pieces of equipment and software programs. It can also incorporate other academic areas such as Social Studies or Science while keeping students up-to-date and learning about different inspirational programs and devices. Let the camp be student-focused. Ask for camper input and discover what individuals would love to hear about. Run the camp classes like you would a typical classroom, but with a greater focus on having fun and a lesser focus on meeting certain academic benchmarks.
Host a “Cyber Safety Awareness” Lesson
Many students spend a good portion of their free time surfing the web, updating their Facebook page, or communicating with individuals via an electronic form. Technology is the way of the future, and the newest generation is embracing that concept extensively. However, students need to be aware that certain aspects of the Internet can have a detrimental impact on them if they do not make the right choices.
For instance, you need to make it clear to students that when they are updating their Facebook page, it is not a good idea to post identifying information about themselves (i.e. full name, date of birth, address, etc. at ). As well, they should be very cautious of what kind of photos they post and whom they decide to share certain information or documents with. Reinforce the idea that whatever is posted on the Internet can be distributed to others and may cause harm in the future.
Discuss Cyberbullying with Your Class
Though the online world can be a fantastic and informative place, it can also be a setting for bullying. Bullying does not just happen on the playground at recess the local mall on weekends. It also occurs very frequently on the Internet. It is imperative that you talk with your students about this issue, regardless of their age.
Understanding how to recognize cyberbullying, avoid it, and put a stop to it is critical to stopping this horrible trend. It can occur on websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, via email, text, or instant messaging. Make it clear to students that unwanted contact, harassment, or slander is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Express to the class that if they have a concern or feel that they are being bullied or harassed, that they should approach you or another teacher or administrator as soon as possible.
Instruct Students on the Use of Intellectual Property
When students are using the Internet for research, they need to understand that if they use another individual’s words or thoughts, they must give credit to that person in their essay or report. If they don’t, it’s considered plagiarizing and a severe offense. It is so easy just to copy and paste what’s on the Internet. Let your class know that it is okay to do that, but they must include footnotes, endnotes, and a bibliography attributing these ideas to their rightful owner.
The same goes for other forms of intellectual property. Songs, videos, designs are copyrighted for a reason. If a student wishes to use someone else’s song or video in their presentation, they are not allowed to call it their own, and should not even be downloading it without prior permission. Reinforce that plagiarizing and copyright infringement will not be tolerated and could result in a failing grade or suspension.
Always remember that technology is the way of the future, and you and your colleagues need to embrace this idea. Integrating technology into the classroom can be a challenge, but tons of fun and an excellent way to increase your skills.
Make a strong connection with students by reaching out to all styles and levels of learners, and produce an interactive and engaging classroom, integrating technology is a must. However, keep in mind that technology is not solely for the students; it can be an excellent tool for you as the educator. It can make your life much simpler, help you discover new ideas, and aid you in communicating with others on a more active level.
Teach.com has an excellent article about methods of integrating technology into the common core classroom.
Hopefully, you will be excited to implement these new and exciting ideas. So have fun and get your class revved up about learning!
Your technology knowledge and ability to implement in the classroom should be incorporated into your teacher resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. It could be the difference between securing an interview or not securing one.
If you would like to learn more about the education career eBooks we sell. One is called 50 ways to integrate technology into the classroom.