Computers: Entertainment Or Teaching Tools?

What happens when you give a second grader some paper, pens, and pencils? They use their imagination to start drawing pictures of games, castles, battles, and racing cars. Can you tell I have a son? It’s easy and fun! But that same piece of paper can also be used to write their first story, learn subtraction or draw a map. It really takes focus, instruction, examples, and encouragement to switch from fun to learning tool.

Why do we think it will be any different when we introduce technology to a classroom? With computers in the classroom we’re giving children access to applications, chat tools, online videos, and gaming sites. And we assume that with access to the amazing learning resources available on the Internet, students will be focused and excited to learn. Does this sound familiar?

Many schools today are leaving the latest technology with the students and teachers, magically waiting for better grades. But how can teachers rebrand the former entertainment tool as a learning device? Technology is supposed to make life easier… but there’s work involved. They need a connecting element and teachers need tools to command student attention with these exciting distracting devices.

The Internet brings countless distractions and so there needs to be a way to limit access to just these educational uses, and if needed totally block out Facebook and chats. And wouldn’t it be nice to poll your students to see if they understood a math example, without the pressure of trying to single out any students you think might not get it?

The good news is that it’s all possible when computers are used in the classroom along with an advanced classroom management tool. When that connecting element is present, computer labs become facilitators of education and technology helps students expand their knowledge.  Join us on March 27th to learn more about the latest tools to drive student achievement and how you can make your classroom technology that much more effective.

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Maria Osipova

Maria is a marketing campaign manager at Faronics by day and mom, reader, runner by night. Relying on coffee and iGoogle to manage the hectic days, she is interested in emerging technologies, tools for education and social marketing.