Focus Question: How can teachers more closely connect learning to the experiences of the digital natives who are their students?
Teachers that offer the ease and use of technology in the classroom will be able to better connect with their students and be able to better relate to the classroom of today. In the table labeled figure 2.3 in our text book, there is a bar graph listing the student engagement using various teaching tools- including technology. The highest scoring engagement was discussion and debate, as well as a close second between group projects and art and drama activities. These students need to be engaged to learn, and if they are engaged, they will be more likely not to miss school, be more plugged in (no pun intended) with classroom activities, and the ease of the scheduling of submission of assignments through email, Google docs, etc. is more beneficial also to the teachers.
The best example of using technology in the classroom is the ability to complete assignments, quizzes, etc. online. Edison State College has now implemented the use of Canvas or some other form of software as a part of a learning tool to go along with the classroom as a blended classroom. The text book can be accessed electronically as well as keeping tabs on grades, assignments, etc.
Tech Tool 2.1: "There's an app for that." Apps are a fantastic way to specialize on a subject from the convenience of a smart phone or tablet. I can’t tell you how many times I have needed something, and it hits me to search my apps. I now have a tape measure, thermometer, and ruler on my IPhone. However, convenient tools aren't the only reason for apps. There is now application offering specific instruction on multiple subjects such as science, math, and history, etc. They offer games, notes and information that would be interesting for the students to use and research.
Overall, it is important to take advantage of the easy tools to engage with students in the classroom. We must stay relevant to our students, and it is not hard to do so! Although, there are some glitches in the campaign to encourage more use of technology in the classroom which includes time, money, attitude, and support, we must stop living in the past and step into the 21st century as it is rapidly changing our student’s way before we have the chance to help them learn.