There’s no doubt that technology is making rapid inroads into every aspect of our lives and affecting the way we do things, both positively and negatively. And even though the debate rages on about the usefulness of technology in the classroom (whether it is a hindrance or a helping aid), there are more than a few schools, classrooms and teachers who have managed to make the maximum use of technology and all the advantages it bring to learning. When we look at all the reasons why we must use technology in the classroom, we see that:
- Most of it is free
- It helps teachers keep up to date with technology
- It boosts the interest of students because they understand and accept technology without becoming bored.
- It facilitates knowledge easily and more conveniently.
If schools wish to broaden the horizons of both their teachers and students, here are a few free technology tools that they must harness:
- Wikis and other informative sites: The best way to encourage students to learn on their own is to get them to look up Wikipedia and other sites like HowStuffWorks.com if they are stumped by something they see in their textbooks or are curious about random things in everyday life. These sites are free to access and provide authentic information in the blink of an eye. They’re also written in easy to understand English with Wikipedia being available in a host of other languages as well.
- Mathematical tools: Look up sites like Wolframalpha.com that make Mathematics easier and more fun to learn. Your students have access to a veritable treasure trove of formula and related mathematical trivia; they learn how to solve equations and understand the basics of mathematics; and they’re never stumped when it comes to finishing their homework (while they may initially copy solved problems, they’ll soon realize that this does not help them in any way when it comes to understanding the fundamentals and learning for exams).
- Google Docs or other similar tools: With Google Docs, it is easy to get your class to collaborate on a project. You can set teams, assign user names and passwords for each team, and award points on how quickly and efficiently the projects are completed. Your students not only learn how to create, share and edit online documents, spreadsheets and pictures; they also learn the value of teamwork and how the designation and sharing of tasks makes the job much easier.
- Online quiz sites: Search the web for sites like Quizlet.com that will tap your students’ curiosity about their knowledge in various subjects and also enable them to learn more about the world around them. You can also find sites that utilize flash cards to help students prepare for exams – some offer ready made cards while others allow you to make your own.
As you can see, tech tools are easily accessible on the web, and if teachers are willing to go the extra mile and help their students use them wisely, classrooms are bound to become more interesting places.
This guest post is contributed by Grant Dobbins, who writes on the topic of graphic design degree . He welcomes your comments at his email id: grant.dobbins<@>gmail<.>com.