The teacher who learns to incorporate ordinary computer technology into her high school classroom will be more successful.
Technology is changing the way people learn. Today’s students are accustomed to using technology in nearly every aspect of their lives, and there are many ways that high school teachers can integrate ordinary computer technology easily into their classrooms to take advantage of students needs, interests, and learning styles. The role of the teacher is to present information. Traditionally, the presentation is in the form of a lecture or reference to a textbook. A computer with PowerPoint and a digital projector can make presentations much more effective, engaging, and easier to deliver. PowerPoint can easily import outlines from Word. Templates and themes make it easy to format slides to make them more attractive. Animations can often show students processes or emphasize key ideas. Virtually everything that is done on a whiteboard can be done better in PowerPoint and all the information can be saved for the next class or next course, easily modified and improved. Entire sites are dedicated to supplying PowerPoint templates for popular games like Jeopardy!, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Family Feud, and Who’s Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader? Such games can be adapted to almost any subject for fun, whole-class learning. There are also hundreds of appropriate course-specific programs and online tutorials, many available for free, that gain students’ attention, and make teaching and learning more fun and effective. The consensus among educators is that giving students opportunities to create products from newly-learned material will help them remember, understand, and appreciate it better. According to Benjamin Bloom, synthesis, or creating, is one of the most complex forms of thinking. Many computer technologies give students opportunities to synthesize instruction. For example, students can create slideshows with pictures, text, hyperlinks, and animations to show what they have learned. Paint, iMovie, online whiteboards, and other animation or illustration programs allow students of all ability levels to showcase what they have learned; it often forces them to do ore research in order to create products that their peers will see or judge. Communicate More Frequently and Effectively
If students and parents don’t understand exactly what is happening in the classroom, then learning won’t be as meaningful as it could be. Thus, communication is an important part of a comprehensively effective teaching program. Email is an obvious tool that teachers can use to keep parents informed. Message templates can make sending emails fast and easy. Snail mail is easier than before using technology, with mail merge, Word templates, and printed reports from grading programs. Newer online technologies give teachers even more options. Blogs are becoming a standard way of informing families of class activities. Students can collaborate and offer comments on the class blog, and pictures enhance messaging. Technology is an important part of most high school students’ lives, and teachers can leverage it to make teaching more efficient and effective. Educational technology, especially computers and computer-related peripherals, have grown tremendously and have permeated all areas of our lives. It is incomprehensible that anyone today would argue that banks, hospitals, or any industry should use less technology. Most young people cannot understand arguments that schools should limit technology use. For them, use of the Internet, for example, plays a major role in their relationships with their friends, their families, and their schools. Teens and their parents generally think use of the Internet enhances the social life and academic work of teenagers: The Internet is becoming an increasingly vital tool in our information society. More Americans are going online to conduct such day-to-day activities as education, business...
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