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Integrating technology into the classroom offers numerous benefits for students, including increased communication and collaboration skills alongside better engagement

A teacher’s tips for effective edtech integration


Integrating technology into the classroom offers numerous benefits for students, including increased communication and collaboration skills alongside better engagement

It’s clear that technology isn’t going anywhere and will become an integral part of students’ educational futures. Being able to effectively utilize technology in the classroom is no small task for the classroom teachers. Integrating technology into the classroom isn’t simply transferring a worksheet into a virtual format–rather, it involves using technology to enhance lessons and enable the students to showcase their content mastery in a variety of ways.

The National Center for Education Statistics said it well: “Integrating technology is what comes next after making the technology available and accessible. It is a goal-in-process, not an end state.”

The first thing that needs to be done in order to successfully integrate technology in the classroom has to be instructing/training teachers to do so. Having professional development sessions offered yearly and up to date with the ever-changing tech tools that schools are offered would be something that every teacher could benefit from. Students, as a result, will reap the benefits of their teachers’ pedagogical tech skills. Teachers should also start utilizing the International Society for Technology in Education standards in their lessons regularly as they help focus the lessons to build on students’ competencies with technology.

Successfully and intentionally integrating technology into the classroom provides numerous benefits for the students. Outlined in GCU’s article: 8 Benefits in the Classroom, students will remain engaged in the lesson more often when it effectively uses technology. This is the biggest benefit that I’ve personally seen in my classroom as I’ve been intentionally focusing on integrating technology into the classroom.

Adding to the improved engagement, technology in the classroom allows the teacher to gamify their lessons at times, which is a great way to keep the attention of the students throughout the lesson. Technology in the classroom also allows students to showcase their creativity by letting them choose how they can demonstrate their mastery of the content that is being assessed. This creativity previously couldn’t be tapped with teachers simply giving paper and pencil assessments.

Another benefit of tech integration in the classroom is that it can encourage collaboration between students. Especially with the cloud, students can work on assignments, projects, take notes, and fill out forms together even if they’re not at school. Collaboration allows the students to take in various viewpoints on a specific topic, which allows them to look at a certain issue or problem in a different way.

One last benefit is that tech in the classroom, when done correctly, can lead to an increase in the feeling of inclusion. Many students, especially in their early teenage years, can struggle with the feeling of not being included with their peers. Being able to collaborate with one another, communicate with peers at any time, and having the option to showcase content mastery in different ways all promote inclusivity.

One thing to keep in mind when discussing integrating technology into the classroom is ensuring equity and equal opportunities for success for each student in your classroom. Understanding that simply giving students a Chromebook or a laptop and letting them go isn’t benefiting each student is a key takeaway that teachers should understand. Students of color, especially, can fall victim to not having equal access to technology, Wi-Fi, time to work on their assignments at home, etc., which can lead to the widening of the achievement gap that we have in the United States.

It is my belief that school districts should focus on encouraging students to dive into their technology and allow them to use their school-issued devices to support STEM programs at their schools. This would allow and encourage every student,
regardless of color, religion, race, gender, etc., to participate and promote their technological competencies.

In summary, simply giving students a device isn’t enough to consider your classroom a tech-friendly environment. Rather, it means intentionally using technology to enhance the skills students already have when coming into the class. There is no “end” to integrating technology–it is a process that is ever-changing and being modified in order to cater our lessons to the benefit of our students in the long and short term. Using technology to support inclusivity, creativity, collaboration, and engagement (among others) are some benefits teachers can expect to see the more (and the more effectively) we use tech in the classroom.

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