How to Use Technology in the Classroom to Benefit Students

How to Use Technology in the Classroom to Benefit Students

Published: February 21st, 2024

In today’s digital world, technology in the classroom is almost ubiquitous. From interactive displays to tablets and smartphones, it’s important for all educators to engage with the fast-paced world many of their students were born in.

However, the possibilities that technology can offer young people aren’t always positive. As a teacher, you also have to be aware of the negative consequences of using “edtech” to teach and mold the minds of your students.

Beneficial Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom

In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the tried and tested ways to improve and make lessons more engaging with technology designed for education. We’re also going to look at some of the pitfalls and what to avoid when using edtech in the classroom.

Pro: Engage Students with Gamification

In recent years, there has been a lot of research on how technology can actively engage children and young people today. One of the best ways of doing this is by using digital media and technology to augment a classic learning strategy: gamification.

The ability to quickly and easily gamify lessons digitally has made engaging students simple and easy. Learning should be fun and the most efficient way to do that is to make a game of it. You can instantly gamify worksheets with Explain Everything’s digital whiteboard screen broadcasting function or via specifically designed education applications (like typing and coding programs).

Pro: Digital Learning is Cost-Effective

As a teacher, you’ll know that textbooks, pencils, and photocopies are not cheap. Technology can help you and your classroom to cut back on expensive materials and avoid any of the hidden costs of teaching equipment. Unlike textbooks, technology lasts longer and is much easier to update. Any of the time and money saved with technology allows your department to benefit the students in other ways.

Uploading a worksheet or PDF for your students to work on is an ideal way to reach all of your students and avoid any accidental loss of materials or printing costs. Explain Everything’s collaborative whiteboard allows you to quickly centralize your paperwork digitally and share your teaching materials with the whole classroom instantly.  

Pro: Save Time and Expand the Learning Experience with Mini-Lessons

As any educator will tell you, time is precious, and it can be difficult to meet all the learning outcomes you want to in such a short time. One of the greatest benefits of technology in the classroom is that you can quickly find and present engaging content to your students. Time spent searching for books and homework, and the spaces between lessons, might soon be a thing of the past.

One of the best ways to capitalize and save time with technology is through mini-lessons. Mini-lessons are short tasks or review sessions that can be used to reinforce a student’s knowledge. With the ability to find planned material easily or create an interactive game with preloaded images, templates, and animations, Explain Everything’s digital whiteboard gives you the opportunity to provide engaging content at a moment’s notice.

Negative Impacts of Using Technology in the Classroom

As much as there are positives to using technology in the classroom, it’s important to look out for the negative effects of edtech, as good strategies can turn into bad ones pretty quickly.

Con: Technology Can Be Distracting

Although technology can be engaging and a useful way to capture a student’s attention, it can also be highly distracting. The constant lure of social media and online games can be too much for young students who are using digital media to educate themselves.

With the risks of technology being what they are, they shouldn’t completely deter you from using edtech to enhance your teaching. Just remember to keep a watchful eye on your classroom and stick to self-contained educational programs. Explain Everything’s collaborative whiteboard gives educators the opportunity to monitor their students and share only educational material, so there’ll be no one roaming the internet during lessons.

Con: Not All Technology Will Enhance Teaching

Whilst edtech programs and digital learning strategies can be hugely beneficial, not all technology will enhance your teaching or be entirely beneficial to your classroom. To avoid any negative impacts on your students, it’s important to think critically about the digital alternatives that you’re asking your students to engage with.

Remember, good digital educational strategies should:

  • Increase engagement, which can be measured by asking your classroom questions about the material or getting them to demonstrate their learning.
  • Be something that is made better by being digital and not made more confusing.
  • Be motivating; students shouldn’t be inactive or passively looking at a screen.

Con: Edtech Can Be Time-Consuming for Educators

One of the major drawbacks of edtech in the classroom is that the responsibility of mastering the technology falls on the teacher. With limited time and many deadlines to meet, learning about the ins and outs of a new educational platform can require a sizeable investment from the academic staff. Equally, spending time helping students with the new technology can be just as time-consuming.

That’s why it’s important to opt for software that’s user-friendly and well-supported by a dedicated help service. Explain Everything’s collaborative whiteboards are simple and intuitive. You are never more than a few clicks away from your desired activity and our online explainer library will take you through anything you’d like to create, step-by-step.

Although edtech may have some obvious drawbacks, the positive ways it can augment your teaching and benefit your students largely outweigh the disadvantages. Once you’ve spent some time with technology like Promethean’s ActivPanel or Explain Everything’s digital whiteboard, you’ll wonder how you ever taught without it.