It is no secret that the world is constantly changing around us. One of the biggest changes in the past decade has come in the form of technology. If you sit at a coffee shop and watch people walk down the street many of them will be on at least one electronic device just during their commute alone. People feel they can not live their daily lives without their phones, laptops, and other devices that keep them constantly connected and informed. While many argue that our technology dependency is negatively affecting society, almost everyone can agree that the integration of mobile devices has made life more convenient. With correspondence, social media, and all the information we could possibly wish for held in the palm of our hands there is no denying that we are a changed society. We now count on technology to run our daily lives, so how do we integrate these extensive technological advances into the classroom?
Many teachers and administrators have already asked this same question and are beginning to form a solution, one to one classrooms and schools. If you haven't already been a student or teacher in a one to one classroom, I'm sure you know someone that has. The term "one to one" is given to schools and classrooms where every student is given their own laptop, tablet, or other mobile device. It's pretty simple really, for every one student there is in a classroom there is one device. Teachers in one to one classrooms tweak their lessons to integrate technology into the curriculum. This allows students to learn in many different ways that would not have been possible in the past.
|Young students successfully using iPads in their classroom.|
CC Image courtesy of Wesley Fryer via Flicker
While some argue that these devices serve as more of a distraction than a helpful learning tool, there are ways to work around this issue. Being able to use these "distractions" to work in the students' favor is an important part of integrating these devices. If teachers write their lessons with technology in mind, they can find ways to work the distractions into valuable learning experiences.
Many teachers note that they experience less logistical issues when using technology in the classroom than they do when using books and more traditional classroom materials. When students use an iPad, tablet, or laptop they don't need to make sure their pencils are sharpened because there are alternatives to pen and paper note taking built into the device. There are no problems with students misplacing their books when it has already been downloaded onto an app. While some argue that technology comes with its own set of logistical issues, you would be surprised at the amount young students today already know about technology. A majority of these students use similar forms of technology outside of the classroom and know how to trouble shoot issues.
More and more jobs are integrating the use of technology and require prospective employees to be able to use that technology fluently. The earlier we start teaching students about the wonders of technology the more competent they will be in the future. In this tech-centered world, why shouldn't we be finding creative and innovative ways to teach our students that will not only engage them but prepare them with critical skills they can build on throughout their lives.
Don't just take my word for it, check out these student opinions on how being part of a one to one classroom has changed their way of learning for the better:
What do you think about integrating technology into elementary classrooms? Do you have any ideas or tips on this topic? Let me know in the comments below.