Educators are increasingly seeking out opportunities to engage in instructor-guided educational technology courses in order to get certified.
Technology in the classroom has become a vital instructional tool and supports the teacher’s role as the catalyst in preparing learners to become responsible and effective users of technology.
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Teachers are most likely already using such basics as the web and e-mail, but may not yet have crossed the line where instruction and technology merge to meet the needs of today’s social, collaborative and creative digital student.
Technology in the classroom includes the use of such tools as Google Docs and Drive, iPad in the classroom, video and coding, to name a few.
Teachers can also learn how to use technology to flip their classroom. A flipped classroom is a model by which the bulk of the assignments are done as homework and later discussed in class. An example is a teacher breaking down learning objectives into easy and difficult parts. The easy parts are done at home while the more difficult are saved for the classroom.
Tech tools, while taking some willingness to learn will help ease teachers into a pedagogy that accepts and embraces the inevitable move to a 21st Century classroom. New teaching methods such as “blended learning” are also heavily reliant on technology. Blended learning and flipped classroom are often seen as synonymous.
Technology in the classroom is central to Common Core Standards where students are active instead of passive learners. These tech tools blend nicely with Google Classroom, which uses Google applications like Drive, Docs and Folders to further the classroom experience for all parties – teachers and students alike. Online tools in the classroom also lead to an increase in student engagement and better classroom management,
Teachers looking to get certified in this area can now take a series of courses resulting in a Technology Integration Certificate. A 12-course program offered by Dominican University is one and involves the successful completion of 15 Semester Credits/Units to earn a Technology Integration Certificate.
Creating a technology rich learning environment goes well beyond students and teacher simply having classroom access to tech tools and apps. Creating this learning environment starts with instructors believing that planned technology integration offers students an opportunity to take more control and responsibility in their education both in and outside of the classroom. Planning this usage requires several steps, from a realistic assessment of all available technology tools, facilities, training opportunities and instructor time to a long-term plan that redefines the role of the teacher and that of the student.
Creating successful, responsible learners ready to thrive in a digitally connected world starts with and builds on the efforts of a teacher guided technology rich learning atmosphere. Participants will be engaged in the use of proven and emerging online tools, apps, instructional lessons, planning and in creating learner driven activities that leverage the digital student’s affinity with technology tools and usage.