Posted by Christy Williams on July 28th, 2016
The presence of technology is becoming more dominant in many areas of life. Doctors’ offices are using tablets to replace reams of paperwork; restaurants are allowing guests to place orders and pay right at their tables; and mobile devices and apps have revolutionized the approach to every day tasks.
As the rise in technology continues to surge, it is necessary for adult learners to access and become familiar with different technologies. Until now your classroom may have been void of technology, either for personal or budgetary reasons.
However, it is imperative that you begin to integrate technology into your adult education classroom. There are numerous ways to implement the use of technology with limited resources and without a complete overhaul of your instructional methods.
Integrating technology within your classroom may be very different from your current instructional approach. For successful integration you will need to adjust to the shifting focus away from teacher centered instruction. The focus will be directly impacted by the type and amount of technologies introduced.
Available technology includes computers, tablets, smartboards, mobile devices, e-readers and more. It is also important to consider that your students may be surrounded by technology at home though they may not be familiar with how to use technology for educational purposes.
If you have open access to a wide variety of technologies, seamless integration and greater participation are possible. Multiple resources make it possible for students to work simultaneously with different devices. Lower quantities lend themselves to group work while 1:1 resources allow for individual practice in tandem. A few ideas for working with technology in the classroom include:
- Use of interactive websites
- Virtual simulations and tools
- Collaborative projects
- Blog creation
- Discussion, conference and chatroom capabilities
- Message and assignment portals
- Word processors
- Presentation creation
When resources are limited, you can still integrate technology within your instruction with adjustments. Consider working with limited resources by:
- Sharing hardware and software
- Rotating schedules for usage
- Assigning one student to specific tasks
- Collaborating on a class blog
The integration of technology into your classroom should be seamless. In order to make the transition, there are a number of factors to consider:
- Various technologies and the scope of introduction
- Which technologies will best support instructional goals
- What universal technology skills to introduce and master
Most students are surrounded by technology in their everyday lives, though many of them may not be used to using the technology for educational purposes. A way to ensure that your students are both tech savvy as well as achieving educational goals is through the adoption of technology within your classroom.
Choosing technologies and activities that support learning does not mean a total change, but rather suggests using technology as a supplement. The activities can be tailored to larger groups or individual use based on availability of resources. Careful planning will lead you to seamless technological integration.