How can technology be used to facilitate and enhance instruction in a comprehensive technology classroom?
A comprehensive technology classroom is one in which technology is a planned, integral part of the instructional program. There are several ways technology can become an integral component of the classroom. A few will be delineated here.
- Replace white boards with smart boards. A smart board is a white board where the teacher can project a lesson on the screen. These lessons are saved and can be transmitted to students at any time. Therefore students can keep the lessons to review later, and absent students can get copies of the lesson when everyone else does or soon after. There is also a growing market of smart board lessons by educational publishers, and textbook companies are incorporating the technology. It seems that in the battle for direct instruction, smart boards are winning.
- Replace textbooks with tablets. Providing students with tablets solves many of the problems paper textbooks have. For one thing, kids can annotate and take notes directly in the textbook—something they simply cannot do with paper multiple-user books. With tablets, kids can keep all of their textbooks in one tablet, as opposed to carrying multiple heavy books. Also, tablets allow for additional information to reach the student in the form of the content-rich internet. Kids can easy copy and paste information into papers and notes. Tablets are much more versatile than traditional textbooks. In the long run, they may also be cheaper.
- Integrate computer skills into lessons. We cannot keep preparing twenty-first century students for nineteenth century jobs. It is time to accept that today’s kids need to know typing, word processing, publishing, and information gathering as much as traditional reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. Kids need constant access to technology in the classroom, because they are going to have it in the workforce.
Technology can no longer be seen as a classroom add-on.
[The] technology planning process for schools should incorporate all of the elements which will allow for the most beneficial use of the technology. (personal.umich.edu)
Schools and teachers need to incorportate technology into everything they do in the classroom, because it will be incorporated into everything students do throughout their lives.