When I consider many of the subjects that we talk about in our pre-service education, I see, more and more, the importance of using technology in the classroom. In my own education, I have learned ways to do so. I think that it is important for all educators to try and do so, because appropriate use of technology is so important for the students that we will be teaching.
In the article “Technology and Teaching: Finding a Balance,” Andrew Marcinek describes how important digital literacy is and how the professions our students will be entering will need those skills. He points out that we must do so responsibly and “[a]long with digital and information literacy skill sets, it’s still vital that we promote and encourage a love of reading across all formats — along with a facility for questioning, analyzing, discerning and synthesizing with other media” (para 4). He lists Edmodo, Google Sites, and Google Drive as helpful tools. I really relate to and appreciate the way he closes the article. Marcinek says, “Ultimately it’s not about how many apps we integrate, but about providing our students with the best access and opportunities to contemporary learning resources. As educators, we must prepare our students for their future, not ours.”
In addition to preparing our students for their futures, I believe that technology can serve as a great tool for differentiation. There is tremendous diversity in every classroom and tech tools can help reach many learners needs. There are many apps to help with literacy and numeracy. There are many apps for students with learning disabilities. Here is a list of seven apps to help students with dyslexia. Desmos provides an online graphing calculator that can be easier to read than traditional ones and also provides a visual learning opportunity. Edtechteacher.org provides many resources by subject, topic, and activity. Edutopia has a great post called “Differentiated Instruction: Resource Roundup” and another called “50+ Tools for Differentiating Instruction Through Social Media”
There are so many tools available that it would be a shame not to utilize them. Technology is important for students to learn, but it can also be a tool to help them learn. It can be intimidating at first, if you’re not comfortable using technology. It is, however, important that we try to incorporate technology for these reasons.