Ask any teacher and they’ll tell you that they’ve struggled with classroom management at some point in their career. Indeed, keeping your class focused without taking all the fun out of learning can be an arduous process, to say the least. This has never been truer than it is now in our technologically advanced era. While technology and emerging devices can be incredibly valuable tools in delivering engaging and effective instruction, it’s important to remember that these tools can just as easily become a detriment if used improperly. If you’re integrating new technologies into your classroom, take a look at these tips for maintaining an effective learning environment.
Don’t Do Too Much
As Edutopia points out, one of the biggest mistakes teachers make when trying to bring new technologies into the classroom is taking on too much too quickly. We live in a society where technological innovation occurs at such a rate that it’s nearly impossible to keep up. Unfortunately, many of us as educators still try to, and that’s where the problem arises. Bringing too many new technologies into your learning environment has the potential not only to confuse both you and your students, but also to offer unneeded distractions. Keep the technology in your classroom to the level that your curriculum warrants. This way, you’ll be able to be sure that you’re driving engagement when technology is being used, but that you aren’t using it gratuitously.
Of course, we need not focus solely on the negatives of technology when it comes to classroom management and organization. As all teachers know, there’s an enormous amount of data generated by every single class that they teach. Whether it’s seating charts, grading, tracking progress of learning objectives, or developing new tests, certain technologies can help teachers remain organized. For example, using certain applications on your computer, mobile device, or tablet may free up time for you to work on lesson plans by removing the need for daily manual entry. You can apply this same routine and mindset to classroom management. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of students behaving inappropriately. If you have a system in play that students are aware of, this may eliminate the need to disrupt instruction to discipline a student each time an outburst occurs.