With a massive move for school districts to provide students with
1:1 technology, the need for quality, relevant, and research-based edtech resources has grown in recent years. Matching technology integration with learning goals is at the forefront of planning sessions for educational tools.
Benefits of Educational Classroom Technology
Edtech resources aren’t only used with secondary students. Starting in kindergarten, students acquire skills for
responsible use and online safety while gaining content knowledge, and the list of benefits keeps growing. There are edtech resources that read books aloud, help students understand fractions, and allow students to act as scientists in real-world STEM problems. Teachers use learning management systems for lesson planning and grading.
The trick is sorting through the many products available to find the gems. Edtech classroom tools must do more than just allow students access to devices. Resources should improve academic performance and make a difference for teachers. Edtech can’t be about replacing lessons. Resources must enhance and expand what the teacher is already bringing to the table. How do educators find the resources that fit the needs of their students?
Tips for Deciding on Edtech Tools for Students
There are several factors to consider when
choosing the right technology resources for your classroom, starting with alignment with your district's curriculum and learning priorities. If the resource isn’t consistent with the intended curriculum outcomes, keep searching. Edtech, for the sake of edtech, doesn’t benefit students. It ends up being a distraction. Take the time to find the resources that fit the unique needs of your classroom.
Many districts require teachers to take trials with products so that they can truly see if it works for the intended purpose. Get feedback from everyone involved, including specialists, classroom teachers, and students.
Does the product take something off of teachers’ plates? If using the resources piles extra tasks onto existing ones, it may not be worth the purchase. It’s easy to avoid using something that causes more work.
Determine the history of the company. It’s important to find vendors who have proven track records with schools. You don’t want to purchase a product that offers no support after the sale.
Professional development should be part of the decision-making process. Sessions should be available for users and taught by professionals who know all the products' ins and outs. Instructors should identify and deconstruct best teaching practices so teachers can use the information to plan exemplary lessons utilizing the resource.
Look for edtech resources that go beyond buzzwords like interactive. Instead, find out if the tools are research-based and standards-aligned. Does it have the ability to individualize and differentiate instruction? Are assessments part of the package? What kinds of offline activities are available to use with the edtech resource?
It’s crucial to have real-time monitoring when students are working with technology. Student data should be easily accessible so teachers can adjust lessons and feedback.
Advice on Edtech Tools for Educators
Edtech needs to be a tool that teachers can use to reach all students. While it should be engaging for students, it can’t just be about having fun.
Edtech resources must show students that learning can be fun while providing a solid return on investment for both the time and money spent!
Where can edtech tools fit into your classroom routines?
Identify the concepts in the curriculum that edtech resources can support. For example, science labs can be expensive and messy, but virtual simulations can offer authentic learning experiences without the hassles. Students can lose interest in practicing math facts on paper but stay engaged when practicing those same skills in a game-based format.
Get comfortable with the tools. Take the time to play with the features and experience what your students will encounter. If you feel overwhelmed by the resource, schedule professional development with the company or someone in your school who successfully uses it.
Observe your students as they use the resources. Sit down with them to see their reactions and thought processes as they work through the lessons. Ask questions to get their feedback.
Undoubtedly, edtech tools open the door to new pathways for instruction and learning. All it takes is a little pre-planning and preparation.
Anyone can have success in math and science with our
edtech solutions. Take a trial and see for yourself.
Math and science simulations that excite curiosity and inquiry