Interactive technologies in the classroom have the power to engage students in meaningful and authentic ways. Technology can accelerate learning rates and help address issues of educational inequity. There are all kinds of teaching technology tools, but a few stand out for their popularity and usefulness.
Interactive In-Classroom Tools
Gone are the days of clunky document projectors and piles of paper. Today's teachers have technology that enables them to share computer screens, presentations, mobile applications, and interactive documents.
SMART technology allows teachers to use interactive whiteboards to project images, draw on those images and store lessons for later review. While this technology is fun and exciting, teachers are unlikely to use it if they do not have adequate training and support. Educators equipped to use teaching technology are crucial for offering the advice, support and training needed for other faculty members to understand and take advantage of it.
Many schools have invested in 1:1 technology in the classroom, providing students with their own individual devices and empowering them to participate in lessons in real time. Teachers can assign research projects and interact with students through digital gaming platforms like Kahoot! Individual devices in the classroom can also address technological inequalities faced by students who lack access to devices at home.
In addition to serving as the digital tools needed to keep pace with peers, these devices have proven to be particularly helpful for students with different abilities. For example, students can use personal devices to help themselves take notes, dictate ideas, translate text, or access materials they would not otherwise be able to see or hear.
Digital resources now abound to aid both teaching and learning. Using teaching technology, instructors can save time and energy keeping track of attendance and grades electronically, giving and accepting digital assignments and finding digital materials to aid in lesson planning.
Artificial Intelligence tools enable teachers to personalize their students' learning experiences. These new technologies track student progress and mastery, provide important data regarding student engagement and comprehension, and check for learning gaps. Teachers with advanced training in teaching technology are capable of using new resources and have the data literacy necessary to put such information to good use.
Virtual/Online Learning Platforms
Before the pandemic forced schools online, the National Center for Education Statistics predicted substantial growth in the number of public K-12 students enrolled in online education programs across the nation. Online and blended learning models open doors to accessible educational resources, opportunities for gamification, and potential for real-world educational applications.
Teachers with a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum & Instruction –Teaching Technology from Northwest Missouri State University receive the training necessary to navigate the landscape of teaching technology. New innovations are coming out every day, and teachers with this advanced degree can lead the way in employing, evaluating and training others in new tools and skills.
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