Critical Digital LiteracyIn what ways do incorporating digital literacy into the classroom benefit students from grades 4-6?”
Technology is an incredibly important aspect of education today. As soon as students start kindergarten, educational technology is everywhere - from SMARTBoards, to iPads, to laptops. But what are the benefits?
Benefits to Students
Having technology in classrooms benefits students as during research they become more comfortable with discerning between accurate/legitimate sources and illegitimate sources.
There are many benefits for students in the classroom, particularly in the primary and junior grades, including how it creates a fun learning environment for students.
Students often have experience with technology when coming into the classroom. This means that students are comfortable with this technology, aiding in their learning.
Much of the working world now depends on technology, and teaching students how to use it so they have a strong base that applies to their future careers.
STEM fields in particular depend on technology. This encouragement to use technology in the primary and junior grades has the potential to foster more interest in these fields, particularly for the female population. In Canada, only 39% of the STEM field is made up of female graduates (2015).
With technology in the classrooms, students have the ability to research when they need it throughout the day.
Students can use iPads or laptops to research throughout the class. This provides an opportunity for students to have timely, up-to-date information that is relevant to what they are learning.
With technology so integrated into society, students can communicate and collaborate outside of the classroom.
With programs like Google Classroom and Google Docs, students can work together even when they are not physically together.
Students who are on IEPs or who need extra help can use technology to aid in their learning and development.
Technology contains a variety of tools to help students. Students needing readers can have a program read to them, students who struggle with writing can type, among a variety of other programs/tools available to use.
Blended Learning Environment
A blended learning environment involves the blending of technology and traditional teaching practices.
A blended learning environment has many benefits. A huge benefit is the adaptive technology aspect of blended learning. There are programs that will learn and track student progress, adapting to the students needs.
Benefits to the Teacher
The benefits of technology in the classroom extend to teachers as well. Technology opens up a variety of options for differentiation not possible before, for example.
Technology creates an environment to communicate with parents and students easily.
Programs like Google Classroom or Classroom Dojo has functions that make it easy to communicate with parents, including a messaging function. Some programs also have Twitter- like functions where the teacher can upload photos from the students days and parents can scroll through and like them. Teachers can also use these programs to remind students of assignments or other tasks that need to be completed.
Technology is a huge benefit to classrooms, and many of those benefits extend from K - 12, not just the junior grades.
What other ways can technology be included in the classroom? Are there any negatives?