Incorporating technology in teaching

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As technology advances, it can be difficult to keep up and adapt to the advancements in both our personal and professional lives. Teachers have an especially important role to play in technological advancements, as incorporating technology in the classroom can be both a learning tool for students and a teaching tool for the instructor. Kids seem to be adapting to the rapid advancements in technology better than many adults, and they actually embrace it. For this reason, incorporating technology in teaching is a great way to increase a child’s interest in learning. There are numerous ways that teachers can use technology in the classroom and many are already doing it. Some schools use interactive Smart Boards in place of traditional chalk or whiteboards in their classroom. These flat screen monitors are networked with the teacher’s classroom computer and the school’s internet connection. Interactive lessons in math, spelling, science and other subjects can be put on screen for students to participate in. The boards use touch screen technology and in some cases, kids are given handheld remote “clickers” that act as controllers for answering questions presented on screen.
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Change in Student and Teacher Roles: When students are using technology as a tool or a support for communicating with others, they are in an active role rather than the passive role of recipient of information transmitted by a teacher, textbook, or broadcast. The student is actively making choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate, or display information. Technology use allows many more students to be actively thinking about information, making choices, and executing skills than is typical in teacher-led lessons. Moreover, when technology is used as a tool to support students in performing authentic tasks, the students are in the position of defining their goals, making design decisions, and evaluating their progress .The teacher's role changes as well. The teacher is no longer the center of attention as the dispenser of information, but rather plays the role of facilitator, setting project goals and providing guidelines and resources, moving from student to student or group to group, providing suggestions and support for student activity. Teachers who make extensive use of cooperative learning and project-based work develop skills as intellectual "coaches" and undertake a new role as the activity designer and facilitator rather than the chief "achiever" or center of attention. Their role is by no means a passive one, for example, the teacher initially worked with a group of students reviewing the videotape of an early interview. Encouraging students to reflect on the adequacy of the questions they had asked, he got them to think about their interview from the perspective of what an audience would want to know (e.g., "She said that she dropped out of school. What more would someone want to know about that?") Next, the teacher moved to a group practicing their interviewing technique using each other as mock subjects and supported their role play, helping them learn how to serve as helpful critics for each others' performance. From time to time, he helped students with their use of the computer for confirmation key portions of completed interviews.
- Girja Koul, Email: gkl.av@dbntrust.in

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