Have you heard of the term digital natives before? Do you know that our students are digital natives? Well… this means that they are familiar with technology because they grew up with it. Therefore, we teachers should incorporate technology in our classrooms as much as possible!
The importance of technology in the classroom
I know that my students are better at using technology than I am – which I believe is true for many teachers around the world. However, this should not be discouraging and we should not fear technology! On the contrary, it is very important to incorporate technology in our lessons. We are teaching the next generations and since technology is considered to be among the most prominent skills of the 21st century, it is crucial to be aware of it.
Benefits of technology in the classroom
After talking to my students, I know that the main reasons why they want to do more with technology at school is that they feel connected to the world outside of the classroom and they stay engaged. It only seems logical to align today’s classrooms and curricula with the way our students are used to learn – namely by making use of different devices and platforms. In this way, we also give our students the opportunity to develop their digital citizenship skills. They not only use technology, which prepares them for their future careers, but they learn how to use it responsibly and correctly. I have also found out that when I let my students engage with laptops or tablets, or give them the opportunity to make use of social media and other platforms, their learning process becomes more fun and interesting!
How to use technology in the classroom
I remember being overwhelmed with finding good sources at the beginning. Now, however, I have a whole list of good platforms I can use with my students and I want to share these with you!
- Padlet: this is a great software for creating collaboratively. Students can create a padlet with another colleague or with the whole class, constantly adding new information and extending their knowledge. They could, for instance, create an informational entry on a new subject or make vocabulary lists for specific topics.
- Etherpad: this is a software for working collaboratively on texts. Students do not have to send unfinished products to one another anymore but they share one link where they can change and add information in one shared document. Also, every student has a different colour so the teacher can also track the process of the writing process.
- MindMup: I am creating mind maps all the time and my students absolutely love them! This platform gives you the opportunity to create mind maps together in a fast way – no need for a blackboard and some chalk anymore. You can create a whole set together with your students or make them create one for the class.
- WordPress: this website allows you to create blogs which, according to my students, is one of the best platforms ever! We are creating a whole blog website on various topics, students can exchange information and with this it is also guaranteed that they stay on track 😉