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tech­nol­o­gy and teach­ing l tech­nol­o­gy for teach­ing and learn­ing l use of tech­nol­o­gy in teach­ing and learn­ing l inte­grat­ing tech­nol­o­gy into teach­ing and learn­ing l edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy for teach­ing and learn­ing

Tech­nol­o­gy is a won­der­ful learn­ing aid. It enables more excep­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion and con­tains a trea­sure trove of infor­ma­tion. A pletho­ra of edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams have been devel­oped to accom­pa­ny tech­nol­o­gy, but mere­ly using it isn’t enough. For chil­dren and adults to learn with tech­nol­o­gy, the devices and pro­grams must be used cor­rect­ly. Read on to dis­cov­er how you can best employ tech­nol­o­gy to improve teach­ing and learn­ing out­comes.

Learn Technology or Learn with Technology?

At this point, we must make the dis­tinc­tion between learn­ing with tech­nol­o­gy and learn­ing tech­nol­o­gy. Learn­ing with tech­nol­o­gy refers to the act of using tech­nol­o­gy to improve the learn­ing of any top­ic. That includes the use of devices such as com­put­ers, lap­tops, tablets, and even smart­phones as well as the soft­ware and pro­grams which can be accessed on those devices. It also includes some­thing as sim­ple as surf­ing the inter­net to find infor­ma­tion. Learn­ing tech­nol­o­gy refers to teach­ing peo­ple how to use the devices and pro­grams them­selves. That is nec­es­sary to con­sid­er when dis­cussing this top­ic because if stu­dents can learn to use the tech­nol­o­gy effec­tive­ly, they can under­stand the pro­grams which exist on each device and bet­ter under­stand the mate­r­i­al that is pre­sent­ed to them. For that rea­son, time must be tak­en to teach chil­dren how to use tech­nol­o­gy appro­pri­ate­ly before using tech­nol­o­gy to teach oth­er sub­jects. It’s worth not­ing that many ter­tiary edu­ca­tion insti­tu­tions through­out the world are offer­ing more cours­es, lessons, and mod­ules online, or even entire qual­i­fi­ca­tions through remote learn­ing, so teach­ing chil­dren how to use tech­nol­o­gy helps to pre­pare them for a future in which tech­nol­o­gy will play a cen­tral role.

What do we mean by technology?

technology and teaching l technology for teaching and learning l use of technology in teaching and learning l integrating technology into teaching and learning l educational technology for teaching and learning

technology and teaching l technology for teaching and learning l use of technology in teaching and learning l integrating technology into teaching and learning l educational technology for teaching and learning

Tech­nol­o­gy just means lap­tops. Learn­ing with tech­nol­o­gy means that mod­ern stu­dents type their work on a com­put­er and sub­mit it elec­tron­i­cal­ly, rather than using pen and paper-like pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions. Wrong! Tech­nol­o­gy in teach­ing encom­pass­es far more than just lap­tops. Tech­nol­o­gy that is used in mod­ern teach­ing, for stu­dents of all ages, can include: Lap­tops, desk­top com­put­ers, tablets, mobile phones, pro­jec­tors, cam­eras, audio-visu­al equip­ment, elec­tron­ic fit­ness equip­ment, apps, soft­ware, drones, spe­cif­ic edu­ca­tion pro­grams, and even robot­ics and 3D print­ers. The list is infi­nite! One spe­cif­ic exam­ple of edu­ca­tion­al soft­ware is Near­pod. Near­pod is a free, shared pre­sen­ta­tion and assess­ment tool. Teach­ers use it to cre­ate quizzes, polls, videos, images, draw­ing boards, and oth­er con­tent. Stu­dents then access all of that mate­r­i­al on their own devices and can send their answers, work, and feed­back to the teacher via the same pro­gram. An advan­tage for teach­ers is that they can access lessons that have been cre­at­ed by oth­er teach­ers and are already on the plat­form. Near­pod is just one exam­ple of tech­no­log­i­cal pro­grams that can add some inter­est, colour, and spice to a stan­dard les­son. It is also an exam­ple of how tech­nol­o­gy can help teach­ers to over­come one of the sig­nif­i­cant bar­ri­ers to learn­ing – moti­va­tion. The sim­ple fact is that today’s chil­dren are accus­tomed to tech­nol­o­gy and its atten­dant bright lights, sounds, images, and colour, and they expect this same lev­el of enter­tain­ment when they are learn­ing. Pro­grams such as Near­pod also allow for inter­ac­tive lessons. Stu­dents can fol­low a pre­sen­ta­tion, video, or oth­er les­son con­tent, and can ask ques­tions via the plat­form. The teacher can answer those ques­tions via the same plat­form. That is advan­ta­geous for stu­dents who may be too shy to put their hand up and ask a ques­tion in front of their class­mates. Many stu­dents and teach­ers appre­ci­ate this real-time feed­back.

Connecting teachers and teachers

Teach­ers now have access to almost end­less sup­plies of teach­ing resources. Through the inter­net and oth­er forms of tech­nol­o­gy, they can cor­re­spond with oth­er teach­ers, share resources and effec­tive teach­ing strate­gies, and offer advice.

Connecting teachers and parents

Par­ents are the first edu­ca­tors. They are ulti­mate­ly respon­si­ble for the edu­ca­tion of their chil­dren. Thus, a healthy con­nec­tion between par­ents and teach­ers will improve the child’s learn­ing. Tech­nol­o­gy can help to build this con­nec­tion. From some­thing as sim­ple as an email group to a web­site for a par­tic­u­lar class or sub­ject which par­ents can access, tech­nol­o­gy can help keep par­ents informed about what is hap­pen­ing at school and can keep teach­ers informed about what is hap­pen­ing at home. Par­ents can also access some free edu­ca­tion­al resources online, either through spe­cif­ic edu­ca­tion­al sites, gov­ern­ment-spon­sored sites, infor­ma­tive sites estab­lished by media net­works, and even pub­lish­ing com­pa­nies. Some time spent research­ing online resources, and sift­ing through the good ones and the bad ones can unearth some valu­able resources to help your child learn.

Security

technology and teaching l technology for teaching and learning l use of technology in teaching and learning l integrating technology into teaching and learning l educational technology for teaching and learning

technology and teaching l technology for teaching and learning l use of technology in teaching and learning l integrating technology into teaching and learning l educational technology for teaching and learning

Many peo­ple have reser­va­tions about using tech­nol­o­gy because they are wor­ried about secu­ri­ty. In most cas­es, they are con­cerned about secu­ri­ty relat­ed to tech­nol­o­gy, which access­es the inter­net. Safe­ty when using tech­nol­o­gy in wood­work, engi­neer­ing, or con­struc­tion class is tak­en as stan­dard. Stu­dents wear pro­tec­tive and appro­pri­ate cloth­ing, pro­tec­tive gog­gles, and oth­er safe­ty equip­ment, and they are taught about how to safe­ly use the tech­nol­o­gy and the entire facil­i­ty before they are allowed to touch the machines. They also fol­low strict pro­ce­dures every time they enter that space. The same approach can be applied to the use of inter­net-based tech­nol­o­gy, espe­cial­ly devices which can con­nect to the inter­net. The only prob­lem is that it can be hard­er to super­vise. It is, there­fore, essen­tial to devel­op a pol­i­cy for the use of tech­nol­o­gy by all stu­dents, to write this in eas­i­ly under­stood lan­guage, and to present it to the stu­dents before they start using the tech­nol­o­gy. The high­est safe­ty and pri­va­cy set­tings should be acti­vat­ed when chil­dren are using tech­nol­o­gy, and this includes what they can access on the inter­net. Often a com­mon-sense approach can assist in keep­ing stu­dents away from harm­ful online mate­r­i­al. There are spe­cif­ic top­ics and sites which are clear­ly of no edu­ca­tion­al val­ue to stu­dents. Teach­ers will also need to con­tin­u­al­ly mon­i­tor the stu­dents’ use of tech­no­log­i­cal devices that con­nect to the inter­net, as will par­ents, who must sup­port the school’s efforts to keep chil­dren safe online. An exam­ple of parental action is the pur­chase of a phone for their chil­dren. In this case, par­ents have a choice between a smart­phone and a sim­ple cell phone (one that can­not con­nect to the inter­net). We know that cyber prob­lems begin for chil­dren when they con­nect to the inter­net. So, par­ents must ask them­selves, does a child need a smart­phone? Why are they giv­en a phone? Most par­ents claim they bought their chil­dren a phone for emer­gen­cies – so that their chil­dren can con­tact them in case of a change of plans, or if they feel unsafe. Can a child do so with a cell phone? That is a phone which can only use text (SMS) or calls. If so, do chil­dren need a smart­phone, or would they be pro­tect­ed from cyber­bul­ly­ing and asso­ci­at­ed prob­lems if they did not own a smart­phone? That is all part of the safe­ty dis­cus­sion sur­round­ing tech­nol­o­gy in learn­ing.

technology and teaching l technology for teaching and learning l use of technology in teaching and learning l integrating technology into teaching and learning l educational technology for teaching and learning

Integration

Effec­tive use of tech­nol­o­gy in the edu­ca­tion of chil­dren requires inte­gra­tion. That means using tech­nol­o­gy pur­pose­ful­ly in every sub­ject area. A well-devel­oped plan will allow each sub­ject area to nom­i­nat­ed which spe­cif­ic types of tech­nol­o­gy they will inte­grate. That can avoid over­lap between sub­ject areas and ensure that dif­fer­ent teach­ers inte­grate the tech­nol­o­gy which best match­es their sub­ject area. Once the broad frame­work has been estab­lished, teach­ers can decide exact­ly how they will inte­grate tech­nol­o­gy into their lessons. They should look for oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to learn the tech­nol­o­gy and to use the tech­nol­o­gy, as dis­cussed above. Stu­dents can use tech­nol­o­gy to research a top­ic, to present their find­ings and demon­strate their learn­ing, or to give and receive feed­back from the teacher. If tech­nol­o­gy is being inte­grat­ed mean­ing­ful­ly into a teach­ing pro­gram and inte­grat­ed into an assess­able task, then the stu­dents’ abil­i­ty to use that tech­nol­o­gy (e.g., Pow­er­Point) must be assessed along with their grasp of the sub­ject mat­ter. Of course, if a stu­dent is going to be assessed on their abil­i­ty to use tech­nol­o­gy in a par­tic­u­lar class, then they must be explic­it­ly taught how to use the cho­sen tech­nol­o­gy in that class. Thus, if a His­to­ry teacher asks stu­dents to cre­ate an ani­ma­tion about ancient Egypt, at some point, the his­to­ry teacher must ensure that the stu­dents have been specif­i­cal­ly taught how to make an ani­ma­tion, as well as being informed about the top­ic of ancient Egypt. Accredited Online TEFL

Last but not least

Tech­nol­o­gy is becom­ing a more per­va­sive pres­ence in our lives and is becom­ing more inte­grat­ed into learn­ing. It pro­vides so many valu­able resources to stu­dents, teach­ers, and par­ents and can be used to con­nect peo­ple for con­sul­ta­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion. It is such a pow­er­ful tool that must be used cor­rect­ly, and stu­dents must be taught how to stay safe while using tech­nol­o­gy. Also, be taught how to use spe­cif­ic devices and pro­grams before they enjoy the enor­mous edu­ca­tion­al ben­e­fits that tech­nol­o­gy deliv­ers.  
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