Last week I talked about the importance of technology in schools. This week I will talk about the different ways technology can be used in the classroom.
Basic Technology Requirements
Just as basic learning requires learners to do spelling, handwriting and grammar, a sound understanding of technology is also required at the beginning. Learners need to have a sound understanding on how to browse the internet, how to communicate through e-mail, and how to use a word processor. Knowledge of spreadsheet, social media (facebook etc.) and presentation software is also an advantage. Many people feel that children pick up knowledge in these skills by themselves, but studies have shown that proper introduction is required. With this basic knowledge, learners will be focused on the task at hand as opposed to trying to figure out how to do the task first.
Technology as a Teaching Aid
When learners become comfortable with basic technology knowledge, they get introduced to technology as a teaching aid. Imagine a teacher using a laptop to demonstrate to the students how digestion takes place. The teacher will show how bread enters the mouth, goes through the digestive track until the undigested part is excreted. This demonstration will imprint the topic in learners’ minds. Interesting class discussions concerning the topic will also ensue. The class can then use a whiteboard to further discuss the topic encouraging broad class participation. Depending on the topic discussed, the teacher can give exercises to reinforce the subject through drill and practice.
Technology as a Teaching Assistant
Technology devices can be used to assume the role of teaching assistants in the classroom. Learners will use the technology to learn, search for information and collaborate with peers in or out of Namibia. The information that is searched will be properly evaluated, analyzed and used by the learners for their school work. Meanwhile, the teachers will be facilitators explaining concepts that are not properly understood, managing the class and researching further ways to improve the learning process.
Technology in the classroom should only be used for teaching and learning purposes. The value of technology in the classroom becomes only evident if it is well structured and it meets the learning objectives as set out in the teaching curriculum. The teacher has to ensure that learners are only using the equipment for the purpose that is he/she has set out.
Elizabeth Asino-Joseph firstname.lastname@example.org