Technology in the Classroom
In today’s world, technology is a major part of our lives. While the generation of our grandparents had to learn to use computers, notebooks, iPads, and iPods as adults, students now entering schools are already familiar with these technologies. This makes it very important for teachers to stay ahead of the learning curve when it comes to technology and its use in the classroom.
Technology can add that extra zing and excitement to any lesson. So let’s step away from those paper-and-pencil lessons and explore the wonderful world of classroom technology! Here are some handy devices that will take your lessons to the next level.
Computer or Laptop
This goes without saying, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. Outside of the multimedia projector, this is possibly the most functional and necessary piece of technology in today’s classrooms. Computers, or electronic devices that we use to view, store, send, and receive information, not only help with presenting lessons but also with management and organization. Your computer will be used for preparing lesson plans, completing your grade book, checking email, making posters, preparing letters, and so on. The computer also serves as the main connector to all of your other technology. You can also allow students to use computers to create projects or papers, and practice important skills using math and reading programs.
This item is a must! Multimedia projectors, which are the compact devices that project images in high resolution, are commonplace in many of today’s classrooms. They can project images, presentations, or videos from a computer, laptop, or document camera onto a screen or wall.
The projector will be the gateway to all technology used in your classroom because it helps create a visual connection for your students from a variety of devices and programs. For example, if you wanted to create a PowerPoint presentation about the water cycle, the use of such a projector would be highly beneficial. Rather than having students gather around your laptop in hopes that every student can see and hear the presentation, the multimedia projector can display the presentation on a larger scale so that all students are able to view the information easily from multiple locations throughout the classroom.
From reading pages out of a storybook to showing your students how to make the letter ‘A’, this device is a great tool for you. A document camera displays real-time visuals on a larger scale. This is perfect for showing examples of how to complete a math page, giving handwriting tips, or just reading a story while students watch from their seats.
The camera is connected to a multimedia projector. When an item, such as a book, worksheet, or science experiment is placed under the camera, it projects onto the screen live and in action. Just like the camera on your cell phone, it shows every movement and detail and can be even used to take still pictures or video for use in later discussions.
An interactive whiteboard is basically a screen that interacts with the images you project by touching the screen or using special markers. This device is very interactive and students love it! This tool will really spice up your lessons because students are able to manipulate content and interact with the lesson.