How Can Educational Technology Increase the Effectiveness of Teaching and Learning in Schools?
A more precise understanding of how technology can impact teaching and learning has emerged in recent years due to research on instructional technology. Today, technology is used in almost every school in the United States of America for both instruction and learning, and each state has its unique technology program. In most schools, teachers incorporate technology use into their everyday lesson plans through integrated activities. For instance, using instructional technology fosters an interactive setting where students define issues that interest them and ask questions. This would allow for creating a student-centered activity while integrating the topics of technology, social studies, math, science, and language arts. However, most educational technology specialists concur that technology should be incorporated, not as a specific topic or occasional project, but as a daily tool to support and expand student learning.
Teachers in the classroom today may not have any firsthand experience with technology, which presents a further challenge. Before incorporating technology-based activities and projects into their curricula, these instructors must learn how to use the tools and comprehend the terminology required for participation in projects or activities. They must be able to use technology to advance their professional growth and their students’ learning.
Instructional technology empowers students by enhancing ideas and skills through multiple representations and improved visualization. Its advantages include improved data gathering and graphing speed and accuracy, real-time visualization, the capacity to gather and evaluate large volumes of data, collaborative data collection and interpretation, and more exciting results presentation. Technology helps students engage in higher-order thinking, develop powerful problem-solving abilities, and thoroughly grasp ideas and processes when used correctly.
Academic content standards and their practical implementation should heavily rely on technology. Standards, benchmarks, and grade-level indicators should all include expectations that represent the proper use of technology. For instance, the standards should state that students are expected to compute efficiently using paper and pencil, technology-supported methods, mental methods, and graph and analyze mathematical relationships using computers or graphing calculators. Instead of restricting the use of technology to particular abilities or grade levels, these
expectations should be designed to support a curriculum that makes extensive use of it. With the help of technology, all students—including those with special needs—can learn about topics. Through technology-based assistance and interventions, options for helping students build on their strengths and advance in a curriculum based on standards are increased. Specialized technologies, for instance, improve the chances for students with physical limitations to develop and show mathematical ideas and abilities. Technology has an impact on the way we work, play, and spend our lives. It is impossible to overstate the impact technology in the classroom should have on math and science teachers’ efforts to give every student “the opportunity and resources to develop the language skills they need to pursue life’s goals and participate as informed, productive members of a society fully.”
With the aid of instructional technology, teachers can work more productively and respond more quickly to the unique requirements of their students. By choosing the right technological resources, instructors can help students develop their conceptual understanding and relate their learning to real-world issues. Students can use a variety of strategies, including inquiry, problem-solving, creative thinking, visual imagery, critical thinking, and hands-on action, thanks to technological tools like Inspiration® technology, Starry Night, A WebQuest, and Portaportal.
The use of these technological tools has several advantages, including the ability to collect and analyze large amounts of data, collaboration for data collection and interpretation, real-time visualization, interactive modeling of invisible scientific processes and structures, increased accuracy and speed in data collection and graphing, and more diverse results presentations.
Techniques for integrating technology into lesson plans. Different technologies can be incorporated into regular teaching and learning beginning in kindergarten and continuing through grade 12, where, for instance, using meter sticks, hand lenses, temperature probes, and computers becomes an integral part of what teachers and students are learning and doing. Content teachers should employ technology to encourage students to perform research and participate in group projects. Computer technology is frequently used in traditional or teacher-centered learning methods to drill, practice, and perfect fundamental skills.
Because they complement teacher-controlled activities and the software used to provide drill and practice is chosen and given by the teacher, the instructional strategies used in these classrooms are teacher-centered. Technology’s relevance to young learners’ lives and its ability to increase teachers’ effectiveness boost student success in novel and exciting ways.
As students advance through the grades, they can participate in increasingly complex hands-on, inquiry-based, personally relevant activities where they look into, measure, collect, and analyze data to conclude, solve problems, make predictions, and look for alternatives. They can describe how solving technological issues frequently leads to new scientific knowledge and how science frequently advances by introducing new technologies. They should discuss how recent technological advancements often open up new fields of study and expand upon existing ones. They should justify why fundamental scientific and technical ideas should be brought up in discussions of the politics, economics, and ethical issues surrounding different challenges in science and technology.
For students to learn and practice science in an active, inquiry-based manner where technological tools, resources, methods, and processes are easily accessible and widely used, they need classroom experiences that are grade-level suitable. The emphasis should be on teaching students how to think through problems and projects rather than just what to consider as they incorporate technology into their study of and participation in science.
Hand lenses, pendulums, electronic balances, modern online computers (with software), and methods and processes for project planning and execution are all examples of technological instruments and resources. Students can learn while implementing their growing science and technology knowledge by observing, designing, communicating, calculating, researching, constructing, testing, assessing risks and benefits, and modifying structures, devices, and processes.
Although most students in institutions, regardless of age, may have some experience using technology, they should be aware that science and technology are intertwined and that using technology necessitates weighing the advantages, risks, and costs. Students should develop technological and scientific understanding and the design and construction skills necessary for devices. They should also learn how to solve issues and comprehend that various approaches can be taken.
The design and application of technology are advancing quickly, especially with electronic tools, which will alter how pupils learn. In the workplace, in daily chores, and school mathematics, for instance, graphing calculators and computer-based tools offer effective means of communicating, applying, and learning mathematics. Calculators and computers, for example, support effective math instruction while also assisting student learning. Technology can link techniques and skills to a deeper grasp of mathematics instead of replacing the teaching of fundamental ideas and abilities. For instance, graphing tools make it easier to learn about the features of different classes of functions, and geometry software enables experimentation with families of geometric objects.
Students must master various methods and tools for computation, measurement, data analysis, and problem-solving to learn and implement mathematics. Many technologies or devices are used to teach, study, and perform mathematics. Some examples include computers, calculators, physical models, and measuring instruments. Instead of replacing more conventional methods of doing arithmetic, such as using symbols and hand-drawn diagrams, these tools supplement them.
When used correctly, technology aids in students’ mathematical learning. Spreadsheets and dynamic geometry software are examples of electronic tools that broaden the scope of problems and enhance comprehension of fundamental mathematical relationships. To successfully use calculators to solve problems involving computations, one must have a solid foundation in number and operation ideas and abilities. Using those and other technologies in the mathematics classroom improves student learning, supports effective teaching, and influences the emphasis on different mathematical concepts and learning methods. For instance, graphing calculators enable students to create multiple graphs for a data set quickly and easily, choose the best practices to present and analyze the data, and test hypotheses regarding the effects of data changes.
Instead of being a goal in and of itself, technology is an instrument for learning and practicing mathematics. It is only successful when used properly, like any other teaching tool or aid. To concentrate teaching on learning mathematics, teachers must make meaningful choices about when and how to use technology.