Fifty years ago, technology in teaching meant using a cool chalk holder. Twenty years ago, technology in teaching meant having a slick overhead projector. Today, technology in teaching is a whole lot bigger, better, and way more expensive. For a teacher to neglect technology in teaching is to be out of touch with the students and less effective as a teacher. So, the question is, how do you incorporate technology in teaching?
Find out the technology that your students use, and adapt your teaching to match their technology
Your students are coming in to class using technology. What is it? iPads? WiFi Internet? Kindles? Find out what they are using, and then use technology in teaching that best serves their technological tools. In other words, if your students are using their laptops to take notes, give them access to an electronic form of your lectures rather than distribute a paper handout. Choose course textbooks that are available in Kindle format. Provide online recordings of class lectures in case they miss class or want to review past class lectures.
Put class notes, assignments, and other materials online
If you lack an online portal for course materials, it’s definitely time to upgrade. Students don’t just want things to be online; they expect it. Use email if you must, but a course website is even better. This provides a place to store course materials and give students easy access.
Assign projects that utilize technology
Technology in teaching means that even your projects and assignments will employ technology. Require students to perform Internet research, search electronic databases, create a PowerPoint report, or publish a podcast. Since students will be using technology in their workplace eventually, assign projects that get them ready by using technology in their classes.
Don’t get distracted by technology
Technology in teaching is essential, but it can be distracting. If you find that technology keeps you from teaching your material more effectively, ditch it. It’s more important that your students get a quality education than get inundated with your techno-savvy. After all, technology in teaching is a tool for teaching. Use it. Don’t get defeated by it.