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Introducing Technology into the Classroom

Pencils, textbooks, and college-ruled notebooks may never go away completely, but teachers should take advantage of the myriad of tech tools available for use in their classrooms. The students themselves are not only used to engaging with devices, but they are adept at connecting through technology, too. These days, it is commonplace for a young person to share media or play online games with people living on entirely different continents. Therefore, it is important to start exploring technology that will allow students to develop deeper thinking and create learning environments that will allow them to be ready for the future.

Introducing Tech Tools into Your Classroom

Today’s students are more tech-savvy than any generation before them. They have grown up with the Internet, mobile devices, streaming video, online gaming, and social media. In some ways, traditional classrooms can seem almost antiquated for their young minds, which have grown accustomed to instant access to data from around the world.

Pencils, textbooks, and college-ruled notebooks may never go away completely, but teachers should take advantage of the myriad of tech tools available for use in their classrooms. The students themselves are not only used to engaging with devices, but they are adept at connecting through technology, too. These days, it is commonplace for a young person to share media or play online games with people living on entirely different continents. Therefore, it is important to start exploring technology that will allow students to develop deeper thinking and create learning environments that will allow them to be ready for the future.

To help teachers get started, Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne offers its timely course Tech Tools for the Classroom.

The Importance of Technology in Teaching

Textbooks don’t always contain sufficient information for students to completely comprehend the assigned material. To reach visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners, teachers can use technology resources and tech-based approaches to ensure students achieve a more-in-depth understanding, in part, thanks to easier and more varied access to information. Today, technology in education plays many such vital roles. Adapted properly, tech tools significantly support the learning process of K-12 students from all walks of life, both in academic settings and when completing schoolwork at home.

These days, traditional approaches are often entwined with widespread technology, which augments learning through a wide range of interactive methods. While some educators are apprehensive about a perceived intrusion of such advances, others welcome them as opportunities to enhance activities and experiences. Done right, equipping students with technological tools and techniques helps them stay engaged with their lessons, making subjects more enjoyable.

Instead of relying solely on teacher-centered traditional methods, interactive and online tools encourage active participation in the learning process. This higher level of personal involvement facilitates the uptake and retention of knowledge, making it easier than ever for students to learn even complicated subject matter. It also empowers them by developing practical and critical thinking skills that can benefit them in their future professions.

The nation’s youngest generation is already comfortable using devices and the Internet for entertainment and socializing. Putting tech to use in classroom settings provides a safe and practical experience for these students to use and apply this technology correctly. It also allows the teacher to instill best practices and instruct on Internet safety. It makes youth feel more confident as they add skills related to online research, delivering presentations from afar, using new applications, sharing documents and media, and more.

With so many benefits to bringing technology into the classroom, it is time to consider the specific benefits of our course!

Benefits of the course

Without a starting point, it is tough for teachers to integrate technology properly. Tech Tools for the Classroom solves that problem by offering a practical path, beginning with an exploration of the online apps and sites available to support learning. The course helps K-12 teachers discover the best ways to adapt current lesson plans to integrate seamlessly with technology, minimizing disruption to existing curriculums.

Specific benefits of the course include:

  • Learn proven technology integration methods that support classroom objectives.
  • Gain knowledge of digital literacy and technology standards within school contexts.
  • Find ways to find and match available tools and resources with current needs.
  • Understand the pros and cons of various academic apps and online platforms.
  • Learn integration planning strategies from the Integrating Technology Toolkit.
  • Learn how to use the 4 Shifts Protocol for deeper learning via tech-infused instruction.
  • Find out the latest developments for higher-level thinking, authentic work, student agency, and personalization through lesson redesigns.
  • Learn new ways to harness critical thinking during lesson planning and changes.

By the end of the course, you will have a full toolkit to help you launch and implement an innovative technology integration strategy customized for your classroom. The curriculum is detailed yet straightforward and readily applicable to all K-12 teachers.

Tech Tools for the Classroom course contents 

Tech Tools for the Classroom, offered by Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne, opens the doors to countless new approaches to teaching with tech tools. Course contents include:  

  • Practical paths to easy technology integration
  • Teaching in the Digital Age
  • An overview of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards
  • An overview of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act(COPPA)
  • Information on Internet safety, information literacy, and copyright matters
  • The realities of dealing with technology in schools
  • Teacher efficiency and effectiveness related to tech tools
  • Benefits and limitations of technology and existing frameworks
  • Introduction to the 4 Shifts Protocol and techniques for implementation
  • Ways to redesign and streamline lessons and units
  • Designing from standards
  • Leveraging technology for:
    • Visual learning
    • Auditory learning
    • Kinesthetic/Tactile learning
    • Multilingual learners
    • Adaptive needs

 

The curriculum was designed for busy working K-12 teachers who want the flexibility and convenience of a distance learning course that is rigorous enough to count for graduate credit from an accredited university. All content is self-paced, written in user-friendly language, and can be completed online or via an emailed PDF format.

Successful completion of Tech Tools for the Classroom can help teachers make life-altering impacts on the lives of their students. The new skills and credits received may also boost your professional career, qualifying you for potential promotions, pay increases, or license renewal/recertification.

This three-credit course counts towards the University of La Verne’s 15-credit certificate in Integrating Technology into the Classroom. Other popular course options for this certificate include:

Note, the University of La Verne is accredited by the Western Association of Schools. Since requirements may vary, students should check with their school district or state department of education prior to enrolling in a course.

How to Register

Tech Tools for the Classroom is completed in either an online or via emailed PDF format. It is open for anyone to register at any time during an open semester. After completion, students receive graduate, non-degree semester credit on official transcripts from the University of La Verne

Registration is fast and simple and can be done online or over the phone. Courses are offered on a rolling basis during three standard semesters, and you can begin whenever you are ready! Students may enroll in up to 15 credits each semester. The registration dates are: 

  • Fall: September 1 - January 31
  • Spring: February 1 - May 31
  • Summer: June 1 - August 31

Teaching with technology is not a futuristic idea. It is happening today, across the nation, and around the world. Why wait to integrate tech tools into your classroom? There has never been a better time, so register today to get started!

 

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