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5 Research-Supported Benefits of Technology in the Classroom

5 Research-Supported Benefits of Technology in the Classroom

By Jessica Sanders

It’s everywhere: at your house, in your pocket—but in the classroom? Technology has invaded the teaching space, and many educators are on board: “Educators and researchers agree: The old model of education that worked for two centuries, in which the teacher stands in front of a chalkboard and lectures day after day, is no longer enough,” according to Improving Engagement Through Classroom Technology (IETCT).

While nearly 74 percent of all teachers say they use digital resources in their lessons, there’s still 26 percent that hasn’t yet adopted a tech-friendly lesson plan. It’s important to note that the teachers within that 74 percent could likely expand their current efforts as well.

Whether you’ve integrated technology into your classroom or not, consider these five benefits; even a small step, like using an educational website to demonstrate your lesson, could help both you and your students.

More: Use Our Online Read-a-Thon to Boost Reading

1. It Puts Children in an Active Role

While hands-on activities encourage students to get involved in the lesson, technology makes it easier than ever to reverse the common active (teacher) and passive (student) roles. “Technology use allows many more students to be actively thinking about information, making choices, and executing skills than is typical in teacher-led lessons,” according to Ed.gov.

Using technology in the classroom, with apps or iPads for example, reduces the time you spend teaching at the front of the classroom, which allows you to be more involved with each student’s learning independently. You can now walk around the classroom to offer resources, guidance and one-on-one support as students are working within the program.

2. It Builds Confidence

Technology helps build student confidence in two important ways:

  1. You can use technology to create a flipped classroom, in which you post lectures online for students to watch before class, using class time to elaborate on the materials with collaboration and exploration based on what they learned in the video. “By allowing students to partake in their own learning, they are able to own the knowledge they achieve, which in turn builds confidence,” says Mike Acido, of TeachThought.com, about the benefits of the flipped classroom technique.
  2. In our technology-driven world, it’s likely that your students will go on to learn in classrooms where computers and software are a large part of the learning process. Introduce technology now to help them gain confidence with these tools later in life and get in the habit of using it constructively. “Although today’s students have grown up with technology, they don’t always know how to use it correctly in an educational or work environment. Thus, it’s equally important that they learn how to properly use technology to conduct research and access information (also known as digital literacy),” according to IETCT.

More: Foster Passion-Driven Learning in the Classroom

3. It Increases Engagement

Many schools have adopted technology in their classrooms, and Northdale Middle School, in Coon Rapids, Minnesota is one of them. While not all schools have seen (or tracked) a change in their students’ learning, this one did. “In the third year of their use there, the tablet computers have led to increased engagement among some of the most severely disabled students and have accelerated their learning,” according to Maria Elena Baca of the Star Tribune.

Northdale used iPads, which increased engagement and learning while decreasing negative behavior among the students. It can be assumed that the tactile nature of children make iPads perfectly suitable to their style of learning, though the study did not include whether this is the case.

4. It Increases Test Scores

Fractions test scores increased by 15 percent on average in an edtech study conducted by GameDesk. In the study, USC professor Michelle Riconscente watched as 122 fifth graders play Motion Math, a fractions app for elementary school children, 20 minutes a day for five days. What they found was a significant increase in test scores: “The results of this study suggest that what children learn through gameplay can help them perform better on the kinds of questions asked on state and national standardized tests,” says the research group.

Though this is only one small study, it shows that technology can be beneficial in the classroom if you find the correct implementation for your students. Some teachers have found Learn2Earn’s Whooo’s Reading to be particularly successful in bridging the gap between education, in this case reading, and technology.

The graph below exemplifies how technology and gamification can make all the difference in how your students learn. At Learn2Earn we worked with a 6th grade class, releasing two rounds of gamification features in the product to see how they would affect time spent reading.

learn2earn gamification study

In round one we allowed the students to change their owl’s color, wing patterns and eyes and in round two we released the owl shop, coins and wisdom points. You can see how average reading times increased with the second round release, when even more fun features were added.

More: Why You Should Use Open Source Education Software 

5. It’s Becoming the Norm (And Teachers Love It)

Many teachers are beginning to see the benefits of technology in the classroom, incorporating iPads, apps and video lectures into their lesson plans. A whopping 71 percent of teachers say apps are beneficial to learning and 65 percent of teachers say technology allows them to demonstrate lessons in ways they couldn’t otherwise.

That’s not all, 3 out of 4 teachers say technology helps them motivate students, accommodate a variety of learning styles in one lesson, and reinforce or expand content according to OnlineUniversities.com. “For the same amount of money you would pay for a few thousand books on a shelf, you could have access to digital databases that give students access to literally millions of sources,” Jim Tracy, headmaster at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass, told U.S. News.

Technology is invading the classroom, and for most teachers, it’s providing a new way to work with students, teach lessons and improve overall motivation, and in some cases, test scores. Consider how technology—apps, iPads, video lectures, ebook reading—can improve your classroom and benefit your students.

Which tech tools do you use in your classroom? What has been the most successful? Tell us in the comments.

Learn more about your fundraising read-a-thon at Learn2Earn.

WRforSchools
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  1. Pingback: 5 Ways to Become More Comfortable With Technology in Your Classroom | Getting Smart

  2. Pingback: 5 Ways to Become More Comfortable With Technology in Your Classroom | Teachers Blog

  3. Pingback: How Twitter Transformed One Teacher's ClassroomLearn2Earn Blog

  4. Pingback: Don't "Freak Out" About Teaching the CoreLearn2Earn Blog

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