Today in our classrooms, technology is more predominant than ever before. We are using computers, tablets, and in some cases smartphones where information is at our fingertips. Textbooks are becoming a thing of the past. Not only do teachers need to become more familiar and comfortable using technology in the classroom, but teachers also need to understand the relative advantages that technology provides.
There are many benefits to using technology for any content area that is taught. Technology is engaging and can enhance any lesson. Technology makes learning fun. It helps prepare students for the future. It can allow students to work at their own pace. (Benefits of Technology, n.d.) Unique experiences are brought to the classroom that are not possible without the use of technology.
Specifically, using technology to enhance writing proves to be very beneficial. In first grade, at the beginning of the year, the students are introduced to the writing process. Midway through the year, the students are just beginning to understand the process of writing. Building a strong foundation of understanding and skills is important. The use of technology can help facilitate grammar instruction and vocabulary building by using games, simulations, and drill and practice tools. Mad Libs is a fun app that can be used There are many apps that provide help with prewriting and brainstorming such as Story Wheel, Kidpsiration Maps, and A+ Writing Prompts. Using videos to help teach specific genres of writing are helpful and engaging for the students. Teaching Without Frills provides many videos that are amazing. According to Goerner, "video in the classroom can also promote strong discussions, liven up a lesson, and can be downright fun" (Flipped, Blended, or Stirred, 2015). Using technology can also improve interaction with others. Some students who are not comfortable interacting in most scenarios, seem to become more interactive when using technology. (The Use of Technology, 2014) Technology also provides tools for online collaboration. This allows students to work in real time, on the same document, without having to be in the same classroom/state as another student. Every writer, even first grade students, become authors at some point. Technology brings numerous publishing tools such as Storyjumper and Storybird. These are motivating for the students to be able to publish their own book(s). Students gain understanding of voice, audiences, and the responsibility of being an author (Solution Tree, n.d.).
Traditional teaching is still effective. However, many of these advantages would not be possible without integrating technology to enhance learning. As I continue my own learning through the courses that I am taking, ideas for technology integration are growing rapidly. I am excited to continue to learn about technology use and tools to enhance writing and all other content areas that I teach.
Benefits of Technology in the Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/benefits-technology-classroom
Flipped, Blended, or Stirred: Using Video to Enhance Learning in the Classroom | Tech Tidbits. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/2015/02/technology/flipped-blended-or-stirred-using-video-to-enhance-learning-in-the-classroom-tech-tidbits/
How the Use of Technology Enhances Children’s Development | Education.com. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/technology-enhance-children-development/
Solution Tree | Using Technology to Enhance Writing | Solution Tree. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.solution-tree.com/free-resources/technology/utew