Technology has steadily permeated into schools and classrooms. Whether you have already implemented technology-based programs, or are currently gathering information on new software options, we bust common classroom technology myths to help maximize the potential of technology for your students.
Myth 1: Technology programs must to be used every single day to see results.
As with any other classroom tool, the implementation strategy for technology based programs must align with classroom goals. Technology programs do not have to be used everyday to be effective. They do, however, need to be integrated into what is already going on in class. Computer time should not be a one-off activity that stands separate from what is currently being studied in class.
Instructional videos, which are a part of some programs, can be leveraged to give students the opportunity to review skills they may have forgotten and to preview future lesson content before the topic is covered in class. Data collected as students are working can also be used to quickly identify students who are struggling, making it easy to intervene with students in real time.
Myth 2: I am too busy to learn a new program!
As with anything new, there is going to be a learning curve. The good news is that most programs are now much more user friendly than ever before. Knowre’s sign up process, for example, takes just two minutes and there is nothing to download or configure. Plus, once the program is fully integrated into the classroom, the time you save creating assignments and grading can be redirected into “creating and designing more engaging lessons.”
Educational companies want you to succeed with their product – so always reach out to their support teams if there are any issues!
Myth 3: Technological devices in the classroom are a distraction.
There are many ways to keep students focused while they are working online that do not include IT department intervention. First, limit the amount of time students spend on their devices. The time provided to students should be just enough to complete the day’s assignment. Clearly communicating what a student should do if they finish early will also help ensure distraction is kept to a minimum.
Second, hold students accountable for work completed while on these programs. One way to do this is by incorporating web-based work into a student’s grade. Alan Speer of Briar Middle School shares that he “uses student performance in Knowre to account for 50% of each student’s report card grade. Students know this, which motivates them to attempt additional practice questions in order to improve their grade.” Students also respond well when they know their teacher is monitoring their progress and working with them based on what they observe. Be sure to use program provided data to consistently praise students and intervene as needed.
Myth 4: Technology programs will replace the classroom teacher.
At Knowre, we design programs that seek to empower, not replace, the classroom teacher. With large class sizes and limited instructional time, programs like Knowre help teachers provide each student with the personalized experience they need. Automatically collected and organized data saves teachers time which can be more effectively used to act on that data with their students.
Technology programs can also help lower teacher student ratios. Teachers can have all students working on technology programs at once, or they can split the class and work with a smaller group of students while the other group works online. This allows all students more direct teacher attention and everyone benefits from the data that will be waiting for review later on.
As students practice on Knowre they also have the benefit of individualized support. The Walk Me Through feature was designed to mimic the 1:1 student-teacher interaction. It is as if each student has his/her own tutor looking over their shoulder. The teacher is still in charge, however, as Danielle Kostevich of Down College Prep Alum Rock notes, “You walk over to your computer and the data’s already there. You don’t have any grading to do, and you can look and see which kids need to review that skill. The information I receive about each student helps me to either teach directly to individual students or create smaller groups.”
Want to learn more about Knowre or our signature Walk Me Through feature? Request a demo today!