The use of tech gadgets in the classroom is a controversial issue. On the one hand, there are the advantages of using electronic devices in learning. Computers and other electronic devices can greatly enhance the learning experience. They can help with teaching certain math concepts, allow students to explore the world outside the classroom, create opportunities to connect with other students and experts all over the globe and even help with accountability and self-assessment. On the other hand, there is some research that shows that the presence of gadgets in the classroom offers too many opportunities for distraction.
However, with students who enter middle schools, high schools and colleges today being “digital natives” who are used to consuming information in a variety of ways and interacting with tech tools all day, it is impossible to avoid using tech tools in the classroom. Even if the teacher is of an older generation, it is worth learning to use tech gadgets in creative, productive and educational ways, especially since the benefits of gadgets in learning and teaching can be numerous.
Advantages of Using Electronic Devices in Learning
The advantages of gadgets for students include the ability to take notes quickly and efficiently to later store and find them using note taking software, the opportunity to collaborate with others using Google Apps or a similar platform, access the wealth of information available online and to use concept mapping or mind mapping software, among many other uses.
Cameras allow students to record themselves and watch it later allowing self-assessment for certain activities. Teachers can use Twitter to let students ask questions using hashtags or have them collaborate on a project using a wiki page.
Other Gadgets for Teachers
While laptops, tablets and phones are the most prevalent kind of gadgets used in the classroom, there are many others. Twenty years ago a teacher was stuck standing with chalk in front of a blackboard, but today teachers can use wireless presenters that have a laser pointer and can be operated with an index finger from anywhere in the classroom.
A digital sketching tools allows for taking notes on paper or a pad and having them transferred to your laptop. Portable digital projectors allow you to make interactive presentations without the use of the cumbersome equipment of the past. A portable audio speaker can be useful if you need to play music or other audio files in class.
These are just some of the numerous gadgets available today for students and teachers. Of course, gadgets will never replace an engaging teaching environment and interesting material, but they can help greatly in both teaching and learning.
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