by Bijal Damani
Expert Educator Columnist, India
Wishing a very happy new year to all!
I am Bijal Damani teaching Business to Grade 11-12 students at The Galaxy Education System, Rajkot – India. In my first blog, I am going to talk about four points of why and how teachers should embrace technology in their classroom.
During my 15 years of teaching-learning experience, following are my observations about effective integration of technology into classroom.
Your lesson plan still matters
Being pressurized to use the technology, many teachers start with the technology first. They will have the tool in hand and try to adjust the lesson plan around that tool. This type of adjust usually leads to disaster – with the technology as well as delivering the content. It is very important for all the educators to understand that technology is just providing us the tools which can give deeper experiences to our students compared to other traditional tools. Though picking up right tools is very important, drafting a perfect lesson plan is more important. This is not the case of Hen First or Egg?? Technological tool first or Lesson plan?? There should not be any confusion here – lesson plan is always in the center – followed by the pedagogy and the tools to put it in action.
Use technology only if it does something that is not possible otherwise.
When it comes to use the technology in classroom, ask yourself a question ‘Is this technology bringing something that was not possible otherwise’?? If the answer is a big YES , you are on the right track. There are many instances where teachers use the technology for the sake of it. Unfortunately, PowerPoint is one such tool which has always been misused to copy textbooks content and by projecting the same content in a bulleted form to the class. Next time when you come across any tool, ask yourself, will it add any value to my lesson plan?? Will it bring any new experience to my students? Does it appeal to more than one senses of my students? Stop using ‘fluff’ tools which does not add to your or students’ productivity.
Technology which does not ease your workload is not a good technology.
Many times teachers do not embrace the technology saying that it adds to their work. I am so amazed to hear this because appropriate technology is supposed reduce your burden. If they are not, something is wrong somewhere. Either you have picked the wrong tool or you are not using the tool as it should be. Technology is supposed to help teachers and students – not adding to their workloads. If you are not saving time using the technology, you are on the wrong train. Get down as soon as possible.
Teach them the way they understand
One quotation which is very close to my heart is ‘If a child cannot learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.’ Children who are sitting in your class belong to a generation who receives knowledge from sources so very different from the sources from which we were used to received knowledge. Students now-a- days learn from interactions with their peers, watching videos, reading blogs, listening to audio books etc. I believe teachers who are not aware of the technologies used by their students will not be able to reach out to them completely. Teacher has to use the tools students are already using and are comfortable with.
Some points to ponder! More introspection coming up next month…….Thank you very much for your time.