Because of the huge role computers and technology play in the lives of people, it is vital to include computers and technology in student education. Preparing students to enter the world of technology after high school is not an option. In her article "Learning in the Digital Age," published in January 2006, Carolyn Pool states, "The digital revolution is as near as a cell phone and as far away as the spacecraft Voyager. Students are the beneficiaries of both the knowledge explosion and the communications bonanza. For them, “texting” and “pixing” are as commonplace as note-passing in other eras. What’s on the horizon for learning with digital technologies?" This statement highlights the need and importance of computer technology in education.
Integrating Technology Into Curriculum
Computer education is a part of many schools' required curricula. Computer and technology classes are one way to ensure students have exposure and gain experience in using technology. Technology and computers can also be integrated in the instructional classroom. When technology is properly integrated in educational curricula, students will learn more than just the core subjects; technology learning and application will take place.
Technology properly integrated into curriculum needs four components of learning. These four components, as explained on the Edutopia website, are active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. Technology, when properly integrated in classroom instruction and curriculum, can be used to address different learning styles and abilities of students, creating a differentiated and more effective learning experience.
Ways to Differentiate
Using technology to differentiate student learning will provide an enjoyable and educational experience for both the student and the teacher. Verbal-linguistic learning-style students will benefit when given tasks such as note taking, reading for information, listening, researching and writing using the technology available. The logical-mathematical student will benefit by tasks such as gathering data, solving problems, predicting, classifying and sequencing. Providing opportunities to improve their particular learning styles will help students to understand why they can perform some tasks more easily than others.
Enhancing Lessons and Lectures
Technology can be used to enhance lectures and transform dull lessons into attention-grabbing and motivating learning experiences. Color, animated graphics and sound can be used to capture and maintain student attention. Computers and technology can be used for interacting and participating in the lecture and lesson.
A Positive Learning Environment
While it is challenging to create a perfect learning environment for every child, the use of technology can assist teachers in creating a more positive and motivating environment for students to learn and excel in. Technology in the classroom will provide the students with a well-rounded education and help better prepare students for a competitive job market.
- Student on campus with books and laptop. image by kuhar from Fotolia.com