What Constitutes the Positive Usage of New Technology in the Classroom?
Throughout the ITTT 120-hour course, I learned about 15 different usages of teaching aids in the classroom. Many of these teaching aids consisted of technology in the classroom. This included aids such as DVDs, overhead projectors, and interactive whiteboards. While the ITTT course did provide a great list of the positives and negatives of each of these items, it only went so far in answering the question of what constitutes positive implementation and usage of new technology in the classroom. In this essay, I will attempt to quantify what constitutes positive usage of new technology with two main points; the first being the technological, interactive experience itself, and the second being how well the information in the lesson is conveyed.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Luke Y. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Requirements for technologies in the classroom
To begin with, how a teacher uses new technology, as well as, how the student receives that usage are both of great importance when using new technology in the classroom. Simply having new technology in the classroom is not enough to constitute a positive learning experience for the students. It happens all too often that teachers come underprepared and unaware of the different usages of new technology. For example, teachers using laptops may be unaware of the best ways to provide an outstanding, interactive experience for the students. To be more specific of the issues they may face we only need to understand the depth that computers can provide to the classroom.
Ways to implement technologies
Does the teacher know that laptops can be used to create an interactive drawing class using the touch screen it has? Do they know that using a computer in tablet mode allows the students to type answers on the board themselves? Do teachers know the extent to which they can use the internet in the classroom to provide a better learning experience for the students? These are all questions that teachers should consider when examining how new technology can be used in the classroom. For some teachers simply getting the new technology connected can lead to a failed class from the start. If teachers do not have mastery over the new technology they are attempting to use students may lose some respect or rapport they have built with the teacher because they may know more than the teacher does. These sorts of situations would constitute a negative interactive experience and a negative usage of technology in the classroom. Therefore, the technological, interactive experience itself must be smooth, clear, and easy to understand. If the experience meets these requirements then the students will more likely have a positive experience with new technology in the classroom.
Structure of the lesson content
Secondly, how well information is conveyed has a large impact on whether or not the usage of technology in the classroom ends up being positive or negative. While a lack of mastery over new technology leads to classroom confidence issues, a failure to convey lesson information leads to issues about the meaning of new technology in the classroom in the first place. For example, if a teacher can set up and show a YouTube video to a class, but the video itself has no meaning or information relevant to the class, it stands to reason, that the overall experience is not going to be beneficial to the students. In this way, it is not a positive usage of new technology in the classroom. Instead, teachers should strive to meet the course learning objectives first and foremost. With that understanding in mind, teachers will then be able to more effectively provide a positive usage of new technology in the classroom.
Also Read: Do TEFL teachers need a second language?
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In summary, while the ITTT course did provide great overall coverage of the ways to use teaching aids in the classroom it failed to quantify what constitutes a positive usage of new technology in the classroom. Through this essay, we were able to outline that if a teacher follows the requirements as mentioned in creating a better technological, interactive experience itself and adequately conveys the information required for the class then they will have more positive usages of new technology in the classroom.
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