Technology has become an integral part of life, affecting how we communicate, how we view our homes, how we conduct business and nearly every other aspect of our daily lives. That includes how we learn, especially for today's youngsters. The classrooms of yesteryear are quickly becoming a thing of the past, as teachers are increasingly turning to technology to help students learn.
Whereas technology in the classroom once meant teaching basic computer software and fundamental computer skills, nowadays technology is being integrated in ways that supplement lesson plans regardless of the subject matter. Students are utilizing technology to tackle projects, which helps them get a more realistic grasp on how to handle projects outside of the classroom and in the professional arena. Utilizing programs that professionals use better prepares students for life after they have earned their diplomas or degrees, making them more attractive to prospective employers and more capable once they are hired.
Another way technology in the classroom is benefitting today's students is the wealth of resources that technology can provide. Classes connected to the Internet, for instance, give students access to the latest information about topics they're studying. This can include up-to-date studies and theories from experts in the field or, for current events students, instant access to what is going on in their community and beyond. Such accessibility was unimaginable as recently as 15 years ago, but is quickly becoming commonplace, and benefiting students along the way.
Technology in the classroom can also help teachers. Students learn in their own ways, but teachers faced with growing class sizes and fewer resources often find it hard to connect with students who might not respond to the same teaching methods as their classmates. Technology can provide teachers with another avenue by which to reach their students, helping to engage those students who might otherwise have been turned off or lacked the necessary initiative to excel in school.
Teachers may also find that technology in the classroom makes it easier to reach students. That's because kids tend to find technology fun, even if it's part of the learning process. In a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education that reported on the experiences of teachers and students in classrooms where technology was incorporated, teachers responded that, in many instances, students chose to work on technology-based projects during recess or lunch.
As classrooms continue to change, the role of technology figures to expand. That expanded role can benefit students and teachers alike in a variety of ways.