When implementing an integrated curriculum, it’s imperative that teachers be able to manage their classrooms while students are using Internet-equipped devices. This can be a challenge, since students are already prone to various distractions in an educational setting. Considering most students enjoy the Internet in their free time – partaking in social media, games and other activities – they’ll likely be enticed to access those same applications and programs during class.
Though many classroom devices are equipped with firewalls and other security measures to keep students on task, many students will find a means of circumnavigating these safeguards. This can make it quite the challenge for educators to make sure classroom devices are being used for learning rather than encouraging distractions. However, there are a number of methods available for keeping students focused and ensuring they make the most of their classroom time. Here are four tips for helping teachers manage their classroom while using technology:
Prepare For Device-Specific Obstacles
Different devices will bring up specific challenges and present unique ways of potentially distracting your students. For example, it might be easier for teachers to monitor tablet usage, as these devices can be laid flat on top of desks or worktables. However, if these devices come equipped with games, students might be tempted to try and play when they’re supposed to be working on an assignment. Laptops complete with a physical keyboard might make it easier for students to write papers, but can also make it challenging to see what each student is viewing on their screen.
Have a Clear Goal
Technology is not an educational tool in and of itself. For students to get the most out of their devices, teachers should prepare lessons that focus on using specific features. If an educator wants to teach students about creating charts, they could use a program such as Microsoft Excel and help students develop professional tech skills simultaneously. The key is to set clear expectations of what students should be gaining from the use of classroom technology.
Keep Devices Charged
This one seems like a no brainer, but it will slow you down a lot if you have to figure out how to charge numerous devices during class time. If 10 out of 30 laptops don’t have enough battery power to make it through the hour, then some students might not benefit from using an individual device or having enough time to complete an assignment.
Always emphasize the importance of signing out of programs and keeping passwords and usernames safe.