As a teacher, I see the wonderful technological tools that can be implemented in the classroom. Tools that can make the class more engaging and interesting for the students. However, is it possible for teachers to use it too much?
Let’s first look at what teachers have at their hands in the 21st century. To start, the computer. When I was in school, teachers didn’t have computers and projectors at their disposal. Now they do. On these computers they have access to software such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and of course the Internet. Then, on the Internet, the supplementary materials are endless. Teachers can find online games, pictures, videos, articles, … you name it.
Other than the desktop computers, teachers and students have cameras, video cameras, iPads, calculators, smart phones, and now, virtual reality.
All these tools can either enhance the learning experience or hinder it. Let’s look at the usage of smart phones outside the classroom. They can help an individual learn anything. You can use it as a calculator, dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, language translator, book, or audio book. Or you can waste your time on Facebook. Sorry Mark, but you know what I mean.
The same can be said in the classroom. If a teacher uses all this great technology for movies or useless games to take up time, it hinders the learning process. At the same time, if a teacher just shows PPT after PPT, yes, the students will learn a little, but not much.
The key to making a lesson engaging is variety. Introduce the topic with a lecture, move to a group discussion, then a book exercise, then a debate, then a short video or virtual reality tour. A teacher should be creative and plan variety of activities to keep the students involved and interested. Use technology appropriately and sparingly.