Benefits for Students
Students using computers become active participants in the classroom instead of passive listeners because they are recording, accessing, manipulating, and presenting information. Students use a variety of software including word-processing, note-taking, Internet research, communication, presentation, and collaboration programs. This can be a creative process with multimedia and interactivity which are impossible with paper and pencil.
Students with computers can be facilitated by the teacher to take a more active role in their own learning. They can be challenged to find answers to curricular problems using the Internet for research and communication. Computers can help promote this shift to more project-based, student-centered learning, and away from lecture-based learning. Lecture-based learning will not, and should not, disappear; however, the dynamic content environment enabled by every student having a computer allows teachers to reduce the amount of class time devoted to lecturing. The accessibility of Internet resources enables the teacher to move from being the sole authority/expert/lecturer to be more of a facilitator of students seeking knowledge. Helping students learn how to learn is one of the key roles of the teacher.
Access to information & communication
The Internet provides access to an incredible array of information sources, media, and communications. Many of our textbooks include an electronic version and/or supplementary resources. The digital texts often include additional multimedia elements. Email, Google Apps, and our Learning Management System, Canvas, allow a greater flow of information between learners and teachers. Since many assignments can be submitted and graded electronically, students will receive instantaneous feedback.
Supporting "higher-order thinking skills"
Computers provide a learning platform on which students are able to retrieve, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information from a variety of sources, and in a variety of formats. The process of creating multimedia projects can require these critical thinking skills as students make decisions about what to include and how to structure their projects for their intended audience.
Technology offers increased accessibility to class resources when every student has a computer. In these situations, assignments, activities, assessments, multimedia, email communication, tutorials, etc. can be provided over the web providing a wide range of instructional opportunities and “anytime, anywhere” learning. The 1:1 initiative ensures that all students have access to a certain set of software, which allows teachers to craft assignments based on that access.
Differentiation & learning styles
Technology can provide greater opportunities for differentiation of instruction. Flexible assignments can allow students to choose how to pursue and present their learning. Multimedia applications (showing pictures, sounds, and videos) are conducive to the learning styles of various learners. Some software programs target exercises for each pupil by conducting a pre-assessment and presenting problems based on prior responses to improve areas of weakness.
Cooperative learning and collaboration
Teachers can utilize cooperative-learning and technology integration at the same time since technology enables shared documents and shared work-flow. For example, students can work with partners or small groups to complete a writing activity, viewing each other’s comments and suggestions. The growing use of “web 2.0” collaborative software allows information and media to be exchanged and edited online in real time from anywhere in the world.
Assignment submission & archiving
Technology allows students to electronically save and submit their assignments in ways that are impossible through traditional means. This leads to several advantages like tracking student progress over time, date-stamping assignment submissions, and easy access to a portfolio of student work.
Preparation for college & career
With computers and various forms of technology moving more prominently into the mainstream of typical life and business, it is important to teach our students how to be expert information hunter-gatherers. Gaining experience in word processing, Internet research, online learning, and various software programs, etc. are essential educational needs for students to become successful in college and careers. Today’s high school graduates must be experienced users of information technology.
Writing across the curriculum
Word processing makes writing a significantly more enjoyable process for students. Research shows that students do more writing and editing when they have computers and know that their peers will read their work.
Core - Content area
Mathematics & science education is made richer and more engaging with the aid of software tools like spreadsheets and other specialized software for mathematical modeling, analysis, and simulation software tools.
History & social studies education is enriched by students having immediate access to the vast wealth of information available on the Internet. Historical events can literally “come to life” with archived videos that are available via the Internet. Computers also provide a platform for the creation and presentation of multimedia-rich projects.
Foreign language educational success correlates strongly with the time students are able to spend in immersive environments. The multimedia capabilities of computers allow students to spend more time listening and speaking in the language of instruction. With the right software, and a set of headphones, a computer can function like a language-lab workstation. Computers also provide access (through the Internet) to the newspapers, magazines, and media of the countries of that language.
Art, music, and drama
In art, music, and drama computers provide easy access to examples of best practices. Students visit virtual museums, listening to music clips, and watch videos of great performances. Students also use software to create artwork, practice music, and edit digital video.