Instructional technology

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A school is not considered progressive unless it is using instructional technology in the classrooms. At one time it was thought that technology in the classroom would distract from the learning. However, with the passage of time, instructional technology use in the classroom is being seen as a proactive way of learning. Here it is important to understand that teachers must be as adept if not more knowledgeable in using technology as the children are already smart users of technology. Secondly the teacher must know what technology will best fit into the learning objectives rather than trying to fit the available technology into the learning process.

Instructional technology encourages collaborative learning and students respond better as they feel responsible for completing a common task. Children’s creativity also comes to the forefront which improves their learning experience. One of the best aids to collaborative learning is the combination of interactive whiteboards and person devices that are connected. Interactive whiteboards can be used for whole class instructions while the students can learn individually on their devices also. This kind of learning captures student interest which leads to better retention and learning outcomes.

Instructional technology is being broadly seen as tools that facilitates learning. Therefore whatever technology the teacher uses must be learner centered. Through computer based instructions or web based guides the learner should be enabled to build up on the previous knowledge. Instructional technology is a guide that can direct students towards acquiring information in new environments rather than only in face to face instructions that are static as compared to the active technology.

One thing to be said about PowerPoint presentations is that unless the presentation is well prepared and supports face to face learning it might fail to create interest or meet the learning objective. Presentations can effectively provide additional inputs and guide the learning besides directing self-learning in the students. This provides impetus to student engagement and also helps to make the teacher a more effective facilitator.

Instructional technology is now being used favorably in the classroom to remove learning barriers. Most often the instructions extend to out of classroom learning to informal learning environments. Small group collaborations outside the classroom add value to the in-class learning. Instructional technology has the scope to provide immediate feedback and individuals can immediately correct their learning and this helps student improve learning. It therefore has a positive impact on all round student achievement. If the content sources are varied then the quality of the lessons improves when using instructional technology. Instructional technology generates student interest in learning and removes absenteeism to a large extent.

However, besides making instructional technology available in the classroom teachers require a high amount of digital content that is relevant to fulfil curriculum needs. Teachers also need to be comfortable in using instructional technology so that they can use them beneficially for the students and also broaden their own perspective. Professional development for teachers must emphasize training that will help them to be better instructional technology users as it is here to stay.

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