The Importance of Having Technology in the Classroom

It's important that teachers integrate technology into the classroom.

While the importance of a quality teacher should not be underestimated, it is also vital that anyone with a career in teaching understand the importance of integrating technology into the classroom. Most students today grew up with direct access to a variety of tech devices, including computers and tablets, and it's inevitable that these digital tools will be used to enhance instruction. Still not convinced? Here are four reasons why it's important that teachers have the skills to integrate technology into instruction:

1. Personalize learning
Many people with careers in teaching are presented with the challenge of instructing students of varying ability levels at the same time in the same classroom. This may seem like an impossible task, but setting aside time for students to work independently or in small groups on computers can allow them to work at a pace that best suits their learning styles and academic talents, thereby personalizing their learning.

2. Real-life application
Students are more engaged in school when they are able to see how they can translate what they are learning to everyday life. Whether they are doing independent research or practicing their typing skills for the modern day office, students who are adept at navigating the Internet in responsible ways will be more likely to retain the information they learn at school and be successful and productive members of the workforce.

3. Critical thinking
When technology is integrated into classroom instruction, students are able to cultivate their critical thinking skills by being encouraged to solve problems independently. In addition, giving students the time to explore recently learned concepts via the web may encourage them to take the initiative to further their understanding by pulling relevant material from the Internet and applying it to what they've learned.

4. Motivation
What teachers aren't constantly looking for ways to motivate their students? Today's students are digital natives in that they grew up around technology and it has been thoroughly integrated into their everyday lives. As a result, they are more likely to be motivated to complete school work that allows them to apply the skills they have mastered. Nothing is more powerful than students feeling that they have accomplished something positive.

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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