When managed properly, technology-enabled classrooms generate meaningful gains in student achievement and engagement. However, it’s up to teachers to make sure proper classroom technology management is consistent and beneficial.
Educators who know the importance of tech need to have tech tools and skills to effectively teach next-gen learners. Let’s explore how to reap the benefits of proper classroom technology management while avoiding the pitfalls.
Create an Engaging Learning Environment Without Distraction
As you prepare your strategy on how to manage student’s technology use, the first step is to communicate clear expectations. Set guidelines for the use of technology in the classroom and identify projects, times, and intentions for the technology.
- Social Media: It is the duty of educators in the 21st century to guide students toward responsible use of social media. Instead of banning social media in the classroom, incorporate it into your lesson plans and teaching styles. For example, have your class contribute to a social wiki study guide or use twitter to spawn classroom participation as a form of backchanneling.
- Classroom-Management Apps: If you’re not yet using apps, you might be missing out. NetSupport School is a recommended desktop-management application that ensures student attention and focus. The features go beyond just blocking students from accessing selected websites. You can utilize it to communicate with students and send messages on how to improve their work. Too Noisy is also a great classroom-management app that will keep your class quiet. It sets off an alarm when the noise rises above the acceptable preset level. Bring a little fun into the classroom with competitions to see which class makes the noisy alarm go off less.
Cultivate the Four “Cs” with Collaborative Apps
Technology is essential to connecting students with resources they need to improve upon the 4 C’s of learning (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity). With the right web-based applications, you can help your students become curious individuals instead of complacent ones.
- Mind Meister: Mind mapping is a simple and effective method that can benefit students’ critical thinking skills It improves memory, encourages a free flow of ideas, and helps foster efficient collaboration between students. Unleash the creative potential of your classroom with an app like Mind Meister, an online mind mapping software. With this app, learners hone critical thinking skills such as strategizing, collaborating, and analyzing.
- Edmodo: Edmodo is the number one social learning network in the world. It also allows for easy customization of your classroom. You can create groups, assign homework, schedule quizzes, and manage progress on one platform. With Edmodo, students engage in collaborative projects that help foster creative thinking and active learning. Additionally, they can use peer reviews and critiques to give feedback on each other’s work.
- Google Docs: Technology tools like GoogleDocs allow for collaboration on documents in a 21st-century way. You can use Google Docs as a reflection activity. Have your students keep a journal as an opportunity to track their learning and demonstrate progress.
Create Good Digital Citizens
Cultivating good digital citizenship starts in the classroom. More and more students interact digitally with content, one another, and the digital community as a whole. Throughout their educational career your students will need to learn how to be good digital citizens. In turn, this translates to managing relationships and endeavours both real and virtual.
Proper classroom technology management figures prominently in developing the same mindsets in learners for tech used on a personal level. The following tools can empower your students to make safer, smarter, and more ethical decisions online:
- InCtrl – Digital Citizenship: Teach key digital citizenship concepts in your classroom with free standards-based lessons. Each lesson engages students through inquiry-based collaborative activities and creative opportunities for gaining awareness of digital citizenship responsibilities.
- Digital Compass: Digital Compass is an interactive gaming platform that teaches the fundamentals of digital citizenship. Students will be able to see the impact of the decisions made in their digital lives. Incorporate lessons on Internet safety, privacy, security, communication, cyberbullying and digital footprints to prep students for real-world scenarios
- Webonaut: Webonaut addresses the issues of web safety, information literacy, and digital citizenship. You can use Webonaut in your classroom as a requirement before your class can use computers. For example, before students log-in they must first earn their Webonaut diploma. The diploma will prove that they have an understanding of smart online behaviour.
The evolving learning needs of next generation learners have contributed to the rapid rise of the adoption of technology in classrooms across the nation. At the highest levels, even administrations are getting involved: doctorate of education programs across the nation are increasingly emphasizing the importance of innovation through technology-enabled classrooms, minting a new generation of tech-literate leaders in education.
With the influx of digital devices in the hands of students, proper classroom technology management has now grown to include the help of technology itself. If managed properly, teachers have a world of technology tools to engage and involve students in active learning.
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Teaching Digital Citizenship
- The 6 Defining Traits of a Truly Future-Ready Educator
- The Middle School Digital Citizenship Quiz for Building Better Citizens