5.1 Application of Technology in Lesson Planning, Worksheet Preparation, Report writing and Evaluation
It is important to acknowledge that
students are already interested and engaged in using technology, this creates
many amazing opportunities for schools and teachers to benefit from integrating
some forms of technology in the classroom and to make teaching and learning
more effective. Here are some of the main benefits of using technology in the
mproves engagement: When technology is integrated into lessons, students are expected to be more interested in the subjects they are studying. Technology provides different opportunities to make learning more fun and enjoyable in terms of teaching same things in new ways. For instance, delivering teaching through gamification, taking students on virtual field trips and using other online learning resources. What is more, technology can encourage a more active participation in the learning process which can be hard to achieve through a traditional lecture environment.
Improves knowledge retention: Students who are engaged and interested in things they are studying, are expected to have a better knowledge retention. As mentioned before, technology can help to encourage active participation in the classroom which also is a very important factor for increased knowledge retention. Different forms of technology can be used to experiment with and decide what works best for students in terms of retaining their knowledge.
Encourages individual learning: No one learns in the same way because of different learning styles and different abilities. Technology provides great opportunities for making learning more effective for everyone with different needs. For example, students can learn at their own speed, review difficult concepts or skip ahead if they need to. What is more, technology can provide more opportunities for struggling or disabled students. Access to the Internet gives students access to a broad range of resources to conduct research in different ways, which in turn can increase the engagement.
Encourages collaboration: Students can practice collaboration skills by getting involved in different online activities. For instance, working on different projects by collaborating with others on forums or by sharing documents on their virtual learning environments. Technology can encourage collaboration with students in the same classroom, same school and even with other classrooms around the world.
Students can learn useful life skills through technology: By using technology in the classroom, both teachers and students can develop skills essential for the 21st century. Students can gain the skills they will need to be successful in the future. Modern learning is about collaborating with others, solving complex problems, critical thinking, developing different forms of communication and leadership skills, and improving motivation and productivity. What is more, technology can help develop many practical skills, including creating presentations, learning to differentiate reliable from unreliable sources on the Internet, maintaining proper online etiquette, and writing emails. These are very important skills that can be developed in the classroom.
Benefits for teachers: With countless online resources, technology can help improve teaching. Teachers can use different apps or trusted online resources to enhance the traditional ways of teaching and to keep students more engaged. Virtual lesson plans, grading software and online assessments can help teachers save a lot time. This valuable time can be used for working with students who are struggling. What is more, having virtual learning environments in schools enhances collaboration and knowledge sharing between teachers.
5.2 Application of Technology in Assistive Devices – For example, JAWS, Smartphones, Screen Readers
JAWS (Job Access With Speech)
JAWS, Job Access With Speech, is the world's most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and Braille output for the most popular computer applications on your PC.
· Two multi-lingual synthesizers: Eloquence and Vocalizer Expressive
· Talking installation
· Built-in free DAISY Player and full set of DAISY-formatted basic training books
· Works with Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and much more
· Supports Windows® 8.1 and Windows 10, including touch screens and gestures
· Support for MathML content presented in Internet Explorer that is rendered with MathJax
· Fast information look-up at your fingertips with Research It
· Convenient OCR feature provides access to the text of PDF documents, even those with scanned images that are reported as empty documents by screen readers
· Save time with Skim Reading
· The only Windows screen reader to provide contracted Braille input from your Braille keyboard
· Fully compatible with MAGic, screen magnification software, and OpenBook, scanning and reading program
· JAWS Tandem available for free to help with support and training
· Optional support for Citrix, Terminal Services, and Remote Desktop
· Powerful scripting language to customize the user experience on any application
· Includes drivers for all popular Braille displays
· Includes voices for over 30 different languages
Mobile devices by nature of their design are for personal use. We store personal information on them, we carry them with us, we use them dozens of times a day. Some of these devices even recognize our faces, fingerprints and our voices. Mobile technology is bridging the gap between the inherent shortcomings of our brain and the tasks we ask of it every day. Long and short term memory is being supplemented, and in some cases replaced, with powerful tools available on our mobile technology. Now that is getting personal! For people with learning disabilities (LDs) and possible memory deficits, personalization is key. It allows the user to organize and personalize the tools they need as well as the environment that they operate in.
Dictionary, Thesaurus, Notes and Bookmarks
Built into the operating system of most Smartphones are powerful dictionary and thesaurus tools that are only a click away from any word on the screen. It is also possible to easily make notes, bookmarks and highlight text within eBook readers for reference later. These tools make comprehension and study of digital print resources easier than ever, particularly for students with LDs.
Phonetic Word Prediction
Phonetic spelling can be enabled in the accessibility settings of many devices allowing assistive word prediction accuracy to be improved for users with spelling difficulties. Speech is now available for word prediction so that the correct word can be selected by sight and by sound.
Speech-to-text technology has evolved over the past two decades into a powerful tool for all technology users, but particularly for people with LDs who are struggling in translating their thoughts into words and sentences. It initially was available as software for desktop computers and is now very functional on mobile devices. It is increasingly being integrated into operating systems, applications and web browsers and the accuracy is very high. It is important to remember that speech-to-text works best when the user speaks in full sentences, with fluency and with good volume.
Text-to-Speech – with Highlighted Speak Selection
A text-to-speech (TTS) system, originally referred to as speech synthesis, converts normal language text into speech, and has been available for decades on personal home computers. Now it is available with multiple voices, dialects and languages on your mobile device. Text-to-speech on mobile devices can be customized for male or female voices, speed and language, quite easily in the settings of the device. Most operating systems provide a built-in voice and many applications provide additional voice options.
A recently added feature to mobile devices is that of highlighted text during text-to-speech reading. This feature allows readers to follow along while the article or text is being read aloud. Speed settings can be customized and the colour of highlighting in some cases can be selected. This feature has previously only been available on desktop and laptop computers with expensive software. Now it is increasingly being included in the operating systems of mobile devices.
Font Size and Font Type - Dyslexie Font - A Weighted Font for Readers with Reading Disabilities
Fonts, size and spacing all play a role in the ease with which a person can read. Unfortunately, almost all books are published in the same font size, type and spacing. These features are not customizable in fixed print, but on a mobile device all that changes. Here is a clip of a font that is available in some apps for readers with reading disabilities. It is called Dyslexie and it is weighted font that has been developed so that each letter is different from every other letter.
Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display. A screen reader is the interface between the computer's operating system, its applications, and the user. The user sends commands by pressing different combinations of keys on the computer keyboard or braille display to instruct the speech synthesizer what to say and to speak automatically when changes occur on the computer screen. A command can instruct the synthesizer to read or spell a word, read a line or full screen of text, find a string of text on the screen, announce the location of the computer's cursor or focused item, and so on. In addition, it allows users to perform more advanced functions, such as locating text displayed in a certain color, reading pre-designated parts of the screen on demand, reading highlighted text, and identifying the active choice in a menu. Users may also use the spell checker in a word processor or read the cells of a spreadsheet with a screen reader.
There are two ways that this hardware can provide feedback to the user:
A screen reader uses a Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine to translate on-screen information into speech, which can be heard through earphones or speakers. A TTS may be a software application that comes bundled with the screen reader, or it may be a hardware device that plugs into the computer. Originally, before computers had soundcards, screen readers always used hardware TTS devices, but now that soundcards come as standard on all computers many find that a software TTS is preferable.
In addition to speech feedback, screen readers are also capable of providing information in Braille. An external hardware device, known as a refreshable Braille display is needed for this. A refreshable Braille display contains one or more rows of cells. Each cell can be formed into the shape of a Braille character, a series of dots that are similar to domino dots in their layout.
As the information on the computer screen changes, so does the Braille characters on the display change, providing refreshable information directly from the computer. Whilst it is possible to use either format independently, Braille output is commonly used in conjunction with speech output.
5.3 Application of Technology in Instruction – Individual, small group and large group
Teacher educators play an influential role in the chain of improvement needed to address gaps in vocabulary knowledge and performance for some children. If created in careful accordance to design principles, multimedia can serve as a tool to improve pre-service teacher knowledge in this domain.
COMPUTER ASSISTED INSTRUCTIONS
Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) refers to that process where in a computer with software used for learning specified tasks
Types of Computer Assisted Instruction
1. Drill-and-practice Drill and practice provide opportunities or students to repeatedly practice the skills that have previously been presented and that further practice is necessary for mastery.
This mode is designed to teach basic facts. The student is asked to type in answers to questions and the computer tells him about the correctness of his response. The pupil is presented with more questions until the material is committed to memory. Control of learning rests with the computer since it initiates and controls the students’ activity. Although dill and practice programmes might help students memorize facts and information they can go beyond this and ask questions which involve the use of procedural knowledge to supply answers and provide reinforcement and feedback.
2. Tutorial Tutorial activity includes both the presentation of information and its extension into different forms of work, including drill and practice, games and simulation.
Tutorial is used to teach basic concepts or methods. The tutorial type utilizes written explanations, descriptions, questions, problems and graphic illustrations for teaching concepts much like a tutor. Tutorial mode is very useful when students show varying levels of conceptual understanding and it can provide for individual tutoring needs that may be difficult to satisfy through traditional instructional arrangements. The computer specifies the tasks and on submission of answers by the students, the computer checks and provides feedback. Control of the learning situation rests with the computer.
3. Games Game software often creates a contest to achieve the highest score and either beat others or beat the computer.
4. Simulation Simulation software can provide an approximation of reality that does not require the expense of real life or its risks.
Simulation deals with the representation of an event, system or equipment. This is an excellent mode which enables students to investigate and experiment with system and processes which are complex, dangerous and expensive. It has the unique ability to compress time and produce expensive, delicate or dangerous systems and equipment. Simulation allows students to investigate the optimum conditions for carrying out a particular process and gain an appreciation of the situation and constrains.
5. Discovery Discovery approach provides a large database of information specific to a course or content area and challenges the learner to analyze, compare, infer and evaluate based on their explorations of the data.
6. Problem Solving This approach helps children develop specific problem solving skills and strategies.
“ Programmed Instruction is the process of arranging the material to be learned into a series of sequential steps, usually it moves the student form a familiar background into a complex and set of concept, principles and understanding" (Smith and Moore (1962) .
Characteristics of Programmed Instruction
• Small Steps
• Immediate feedback
• Students’ responses
Advantages of PI
• Important role of a guide, counselor, motivator, and organizer.
• Social and emotional problem can be eliminated.
• Learning interesting.
• Own place.
• Teaching complex subject matter.
• Useful in certain situations ( small isolated schools in the hilly areas)
• Improve the communication
Computer Assisted Instruction
(CAI) & Programmed Learning Material provides
1. text or multimedia content
2. multiple-choice questions
3. problems solve
4. immediate feedback
5. notes on incorrect responses
6. summarizes students' performance
7. exercises for practice
8. Worksheets and tests
5.4 Advantages, merits and demerits
1. Using technology in the classroom allows you to experiment more in pedagogy and get instant feedback.
Technology allows for more active learning; you can increase engagement through online polling or asking quiz questions during lectures (with instantaneous results). Subject matter is dynamic and timely with digital textbooks that embed links to relevant materials or student-maintained course wikis. Whether adding a single tool for a specific project or term, or making a more dramatic change such as a flipped classroom,, being well-versed in technology can help build credibility with students, and even fellow colleagues. Should you choose to integrate technology into your classroom, you will have a better idea of your students’ progress.
2. Technology in the classroom helps ensure full participation.
Online polling and other digital tools help to engage all students, including shy students who wouldn’t normally raise their hand in class. Online engagement systems allow you to regularly check in with students for feedback on course materials and assignments; data analytics could be used to help spot areas where students might be struggling, so you can adjust the coursework accordingly.
Student response systems help students measure their understanding of a topic while professors can see what areas they need to review. For instance, iClicker questions may be multiple choice or true or false and ask students to identify a correct answer, in exchange for participation points from a professor. Clickers and other student-centered software can make for great teaching tools for educators to enhance their lectures. Student response systems help foster digital citizenship in the classroom and give students an opportunity to engage in class and get rewarded for it at the same time.
One active learning technique that technology can facilitate is offering students quizzes (not for credit). At the beginning of the class, you can gauge familiarity with a subject by taking a quick, anonymous quiz on the subject you’re teaching—and this can also inform and direct what you need to focus on. At the end of the class, setting the same quiz again allows all students to gauge their learning.
3. There are countless resources for enhancing education and making learning more fun and effective.
From apps and e-textbooks to organizational platforms, there’s no shortage of tools that can transform the classroom. Some instructors are turning toward classroom ‘gamification,’ the use of competitive scenarios, and the distribution of points and rewards to make the classroom more fun and engaging. The key to ensuring these methods are also effective is designing them to support the course learning objectives. Digital storytelling through gamification can make learning more exciting and sometimes relatable for students. Gamification allows for interactive lessons and can reduce passivity in the classroom.
Some gamification tips include role play—where students are asked to pose arguments on behalf of historical figures or scientific concepts—and introducing healthy competition. Technology can greatly aid the implementation of classroom games, as well as their assessment. Blended learning can also play an effective role here, whereby students’ curriculum is partially delivered in person and partially via digital means.
4. Technology can automate a lot of your tedious tasks.
Automation can speed up tedious, time-consuming tasks, such as keeping track of student attendance and performance. Engagement tools can help streamline grading for writing assignments, discussions and participation, as well as answer common student questions, which otherwise could seem daunting due to their objective nature.
The canonical example of this? One professor at Georgia Tech actually coded an artificially intelligent teaching assistant. Jill Watson was able to answer a selection of student questions and pass any that ‘she’ couldn’t handle to a real person. Technology integration in schools can therefore reduce the amount of time spent on minor tasks.
5. With technology in the classroom, your students have instant access to fresh information that can supplement their learning experience.
There is value in having textbooks and course materials that are always up to date, which can even include additions suggested by students. This also fosters a more collaborative learning environment; students, networked together online, can share information, work together on group projects, and interact with the instructor.
Collaboration between professors and their students is put into practice through a learning management system (LMS) such as Moodle or Blackboard, where professors upload new content for student review online. Educational technology enables students to engage in an ongoing cycle of learning: before, during and after class. Student response systems such as clickers can also help students apply their understanding of concepts covered in class and can indicate areas that need to be reviewed.
6. We live in a digital world, and technology is a life skill.
Being digitally literate is more than obtaining “isolated technological skills,” according to the NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Higher Education Edition. Rather, it’s about “generating a deeper understanding of the digital environment, enabling intuitive adaptation to new contexts and co-creation of content with others.” Here, the whiteboard is almost extinct, while technology has never been of more importance in the classroom. Creating presentations, learning to differentiate reliable from unreliable sources on the Internet and maintaining proper online etiquette are all vital skills that students can learn in the classroom. It can also help universities deliver better ROI on student education (and remain relevant). Mobile technology in classrooms is a must-have if students want to be prepared for almost any career today. Student achievement may be boosted if they have the means to continue working on projects outside of the classroom.
1. Technology in the classroom can be a distraction.
Tech savvy students may find it hard to concentrate in class when a wide range of digital devices are around them. College students learn less when they use computers or tablets during lectures, writes Susan Dynarski, a professor of education, public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, in the New York Times. “They also tend to earn worse grades. The research is unequivocal: Laptops distract from learning, both for users and for those around them.”
But Matthew Numer, an assistant professor in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University, says in an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education that banning laptops is an “insult” to students: “Our students are capable of making their own choices, and if they choose to check Snapchat instead of listening to your lecture, then that’s their loss. Besides, it’s my responsibility as an educator to ensure that my lecture is compelling. If my students aren’t paying attention, if they’re distracted, that’s on me.” To Numer, students glancing at their screens may indicate that a course’s curriculum and instruction needs to be revamped.
This makes the notion of creating a structure and culture of respect all the more important from day one. Identify specific projects, times during class, and your intentions for allowing the use of technology in the classroom. Creating expectations and guidelines for students, and sticking to them, will be important for them in respecting your boundaries.
2. Technology can disconnect students from social interactions.
Many people are skeptical of technology and what it does to students’ (and everyone else’s) ability to verbally communicate.
By creating assignments in class that use both technological tools as well as oral presentations and group collaboration, students will learn to be dynamic in how they learn and interact with others.
Sara Eskridge, history professor at Randolph College in Virginia, believes that technology is a tool to be used in the classroom, rather than an end in itself. The teacher is in control—and knows how to bring the best out in the student.
While students have always found ways to cheat, the digital age makes it even easier — from copying-and-pasting someone else’s work to hiring an essay-writer from an online essay mill. Here, digital technology could end up hindering students’ professional development.
While technology could be seen as yet another avenue for cheating, it’s possible to structure assignments and exams in a way that makes cheating difficult, or make exams open-book and focus on problem-solving and mastery rather than retention. Some classroom software allows you set questions that are subtly different for every student, making them focus on the technique rather than the answer; and edtech software such as Turnitin is already well-established in most higher education settings. These assistive tools can help professors identify students who plagiarize.
An online education should be accessible to students. Some students can’t afford iPads or even the textbooks required for class. For these students, point them in the direction of library or community resources, or create assignments that allow them to work in groups and share resources.
Don’t make technology the focus of your class, and don’t make it a barrier. Incorporate it in a holistic and inclusive manner.
The Internet is a blessing and a curse. Your students may need guidance on identifying proper sources and unreliable sources. Many schools have writing centers that can help with this. You can also use OERs, which are open educational resources in the public domain that anyone can freely use, copy and adapt; they range from textbooks to lecture notes, examinations and assignments.
How can you tell if content is written by a competent authority? Here are some tips on finding OERs, and Top Hat’s Marketplace is also a reliable source of OER you can use.
The task of adapting technology into your classroom can seem daunting or overwhelming. In many ways though, using technology can become as natural to you as any daily activity.
When you’re choosing classroom technology, it’s important to engage with the software vendor and make sure you have the support in place. Some questions you should ask include whether they supply training or onboarding, and what their reliability statistics and support functions are—after all, you don’t need to be the person all the students come to if the technology goes offline.
But the most important thing is to allow yourself time to learn how to use something, and make sure you ask for, and receive the support that you need.
5.5 Implications for inclusion
One of the major benefits of using technology in the classroom is the ability to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every student in every lesson. Just as every student grows and develops at different rates, they learn in different ways and at different speeds. Technology makes it possible to pace lessons appropriately for each student’s learning level and can be used to promote learning in the multiple intelligences
Multimedia in-class presentations: A student uses a presentation program to supplement a standard spoken presentation with images, charts and graphs, or sound.
Essays in the form of World Wide Web pages: While even a traditional text essay might be posted for comment, the best web essays will make use of the Web's unique ability to incorporate multimedia elements.
Web teaching units for your class or other classes: Students can become teachers by sharing their research and analysis with the class or with an outside audience (including secondary and primary school classes).
Web exhibits: By emulating the form and rigor of museum and library exhibits, students can produce a classroom and community resource on their topic.
Collaborative projects: All of the above projects lend themselves to collaborative work by groups of students.
Classroom archive/library: Over the years, a digitally savvy course might accumulate an excellent library of digital student essays, teaching units, exhibits, and dialogues.
Use technology as a topic for a writing assignment
For younger students, have them write a “how-to” piece about using technology in the classroom. It’s a natural fit, as young people usually have a higher comfort level with technology than many adults. Tell kids to write a piece instructing someone – maybe a grandparent? – on how to send an email, set up an I-pod, or play a video game. For older kids, have them research the impact technology has had on a particular time in history or science or include a unit on science fiction and technology in your Language Arts curriculum.
Create a class webpage
A class webpage can be anything from a basic site where you post announcements (think “online bulletin board”) to a much more elaborate one that includes class photos, a class blog, downloadable materials, and your own domain name. Those of you with a little more experience may enjoy Webs.com, which offers both free and premium service packages.
While some schools are mandating the shift to web-based gradebooks, you don’t have to wait to try one out. The opportunity to track grades, record attendance and seating charts, and compile reports on student progress. You can also email students and parents directly to allow them to view their updated grades. Never worry again about bringing home your gradebook – you can access it from any computer.
Give multimedia presentations – or have your students give them
Liven up a traditional lecture by using a PowerPoint presentation that incorporates photographs, diagrams, sound effects, music, or video clips. For high school teachers, consider having your students develop presentations as a review tool before semester exams. Their work may be so good that you will want to use it in future classes!
Supplement your lessons
When you’ve taught the same material for a while, you – and your students – may find it less-than-exciting. A quick Internet search may help you identify ways to supplement your lessons with interesting new material. Make a habit of searching before you begin each new unit. You may find photographs, sound clips, video clips, and more that can bring your lessons to life. Many museums now offer online “virtual tours” and teachers are constantly developing new presentations and webquests, which are posted online. Add these in to keep your lessons fresh.
Create a class blog or wiki
Take appropriate precautions for Internet safety, but a class blog or wiki can be a great way to integrate technology in the classroom and develop student knowledge. Some teachers use blogs to drive outside-of-class discussion – particularly helpful for AP/IB students who are motivated but short on class time.
A wiki is a website that uses software which allows many different people to edit it (think Wikipedia). Have your students work together to create a wiki on a topic they are studying. They will need to correct each other’s work and collaborate in order to make it a success.
Listen to – or create – a Podcast.
There are thousands of podcasts available on the Web. Search for ones that meet your students’ needs. Some colleges are offering professors’ lectures via podcast, which can be great for advanced students. In other cases, you may be able to find an interview with the author of a book your students are reading, or other supplemental material. Make arrangements to download it and play it for your students. For the really ambitious, have students create their own podcasts to document their progress through the year or discuss their ideas on a variety of issues pertaining to the course.
“Publish” your students’ work
Tools exist today to allow your students to create really professional looking work using a desktop computer. Have students create a short film, run an ongoing class website that features student work and opinions, or – if they’re really ambitious – raise the money to have their work professionall.