Technology is where the future is going and truthfully, where we are already today. But many of our classrooms don’t yet reflect this. Without making technology a natural, daily part of classroom instruction, our students will be ill prepared to compete in the international marketplace.
90s classroom technology
When I was in school in the ’90s, we had some technology. My elementary school had a computer lab where we would learn to type, and if we finished early we could play Math Blaster or KidPix. By the time I was in middle school, I had a typing class, but we mostly were expected to type text book material. It was an after thought. In high school I had another keyboarding class plus one pretty useless technology class that taught me macros that I’ve never needed to use, and Excel which at least was somewhat useful.
By the time I was a senior, I still typed very slowly. The way I learned to type quickly didn’t have anything to do with school. Instead I learned to type using AOL Instant Messenger and I was motivated to type faster so I could say more of what I wanted in a shorter amount of time to my friends. I was otherwise practically computer illiterate. This impacted my choice of major. Even though I graduated valedictorian and took really challenging classes like AP Physics, I wanted to stay far away from anything where I’d need to use technology. I had zero confidence with computers.
I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve learned how to build websites and write some HTML. But mainly, it’s experience and time on computers that got me comfortable to the point where they feel natural.
Using Technology in Your Classroom
Your students need to feel like using computers and technology is natural. In almost every career they will be well served by being fluent in technology. Reading, writing, and math are not enough to get by in today’s world.
For younger kids, set expectations up from the get go. Have simple computer rules posted along with a list of the sites you want them to visit. My students really loved Starfall and ABCMouse is also really popular. These sites let your young students practice the phonics skills that they are learning.
Use our computer website list you can post along with our computer rules. No prep and will work in color or black and white.
Older students should be learning online research skills. More content is being published every day to the internet, and not all of it is true. Students need to be taught how to tell the difference between reliable and unreliable sources. They should be taught to get more than one source to prove a point.
They can use their findings to create presentations about the things they learned. Incorporating technology into assignments is especially useful in incorporating the upper tiers of Bloom’s Taxonomy like evaluate and create. Older students can use Adobe Spark to easily make video presentations. It’s free.
Talk to Us
Owl Quest is in the middle of designing technology for teachers to use with their students that works with the standards and Bloom’s Taxonomy. While we build it, we want to hear from you. What would help you become a better teacher?