How Future Teachers Can Maximize Student Learning Through Technology

How future teachers can maximize student learning through technology

Helping students develop skills that will prepare them for college and careers is a big part of teachers' jobs. In order to help their students meet the demands of a 21st century workforce, people interested in careers in teaching should consider learning how to arrange a classroom environment that utilizes technology to its fullest potential. Here are three tips to help you maximize student achievement through technology:

1. Create a comprehensive technology proficiency strategy
In today's classrooms, technology is used by students for a number of tasks, from commenting on topic threads to completing collaborative projects with fellow classmates. Many teachers outline the different ways technology can help students with classwork. Discuss how you can use computers and the Internet to access content on any topic. Show students that these tools can be used for achieving learning goals outside of the classroom. Explain how different cultures express themselves in academic communities through the use of online applications. Explore the variety of instruments that professionals use in their fields to spark inspiration in your students and accomplish great feats.

2. Digitize the collection of student work.
Many classrooms are already using web-based file hosting and sharing servies to streamline the way students complete projects and turn in homework. Prospective teachers should consider using this technology to plan classroom activities. Educational applications such as Edmodo and Schoology have specific features allowing students to turn in work directly by placing it in a folder for a certain class. Some schools may choose to use a shared public folders. Demonstrate to the classroom the step-by-step process so they can correctly submit work during their schedule time at the computer lab.

3. Collaborate with other teachers and education professionals
There may come a time when you run out of ideas or resources and are left with a blank page in your classroom development strategy. Work with your colleagues to gain some insight into their experience with technology. How do they allocate their time between computer and web-based learning? What kinds of challenges have they faced while integrating technology during class time? Communicate with media specialists and librarians who might be able to point you toward a new way of thinking about educational technology. Computer lab teachers are also a great resource for people unfamiliar with the technological advancements in education and can provide information on the latest learning tools available today.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university. WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_teachers.

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