As a teacher, you’ve either heard it before or said it yourself: “I’m far too busy to try and add new technology for the students in my classroom.” When it comes to adding technology to your classroom, one of the hardest challenges to overcome is giving up class time to introduce a new technological device to students.

The truth is, even though many technology-based teaching methods and devices engage students in the curriculum and enhance their learning, a number of educators find it extremely difficult to use them in the classroom.

Maybe a specific concept is too hard to introduce using technology, or maybe the online resources you wanted to use to increase your students’ knowledge won’t work on school-issued devices. Despite these challenges, over the years, teachers have recognized the benefits of using technology in their classroom. Educators have found that technology has much more to offer than simply being a surface-level substitute for age-old tools like books and paper. Technology can serve to augment student learning, modify it, and redefine it too.

During Mini-Lessons, Use Videos: You can make your lesson plans much more meaningful by incorporating videos as a way to get students ready for certain topics you plan on going over. The best part: Skill reviews and previews are also available on a number of different websites that host teacher-made content.

Websites, like TeacherTube, for example, is just like YouTube but is designed for educators who are covering core subjects. You can search for a specific topic or browse the website and search by category. Either way, you’ll be able to find videos on almost anything. For instance, if you’re searching for “Middle School English Language Arts,” then you will find a results page that contains study guides, lesson plans, and assessments covering relevant concepts and works of literature.

This is just one of many ways to use technology in the classroom and give students the opportunity to use multimedia elements to improve their learning. Research also suggests that using animated videos in class can have a positive effect on student development in several different areas that include: creativity, improved memory, cognitive thinking, and even problem solving.

Mobile Game Devices: In the past, the quality of education that a student received was always tied to their location. In the digital age, however, students can rely on technology. One way students can improve their learning is through online simulation games that can add both context and real-world experiences to a teacher’s lesson plan. Math teachers, for example, can use online simulation games to help students learn how to do things like write checks or do basic math.

Most game simulations that are available to students deal with core subjects like English, math, and science. However teachers decide to utilize this software, students will learn how to apply their knowledge in a greater range of scenarios. Since most of these programs work on practically any mobile device, students will always have easy access to it when they need to complete certain assignments.

Technology Encourages Effective Discussions: Today’s technology offers so many options for students and teachers alike — and when it comes to getting students to talk, mobile devices that support online interaction are an ideal choice. The best online tools allow students to express themselves and participate in class discussions. Teachers should strive to create an engaging environment that focuses on the student rather than the curriculum, and technology can help. So, when it comes to getting students to talk and discuss important topics, teachers can turn to online tools like Blackboard or Google classroom to expand students learning outside the classroom setting.

When students (especially middle school ones), feel like they’re being put on the spot, it can be really difficult to encourage them to share what they’re thinking or feeling about a particular subject. Fortunately, by using technology, students can build the confidence needed to develop their voice and express themselves in the long run, and technology the like ones listed below can help:

  • Moodle
  • Learnboost
  • Class Dojo
  • Cacoo
  • Pixton
  • Voicethread

In theory, each of these tools promotes more meaningful and personalized learning for students. It also helps students develop social skills through classroom collaboration.

In the end, if utilized correctly, these technological resources can be used to amplify, enhance, and facilitate deeper knowledge for young students. Truthfully, if you’re using technology merely for the sake of using it, then students may not benefit. However, if you’re using it to help students find their voice and increase their knowledge, then it can be a wonderful tool to use in the classroom.