Using technology in the classroom isn’t a brand new concept, but it’s becoming more pressing each year. As “digital transformations” occur across practically every workplace, classrooms must also embrace technology to prepare children for the digital future.
Implementing technology in the classroom, particularly for younger children, can help them develop the skills they need to succeed in higher education and their careers — even if those years seem far away. Here are five ways that introducing educational technologies today can set children and educators up for success.
1. Improve technology literacy
In a world that’s growing increasingly digitized, technology literacy has become a key indicator of career readiness. Understanding how to navigate new applications and find quality information online is a prerequisite for many modern job positions. While resume-worthy technical skills are typically developed in high school or college, childhood is the perfect time to develop foundational digital literacy skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and online communication.
Implementing technology in the classroom is also an effective way to make tech literacy skills accessible. While some children may not have access to laptops or educational software at home, digitized education can increase technology literacy across all demographics by giving every child a chance to practice their skills.
2. Increase engagement in the classroom
If you’ve ever seen a child glued to a tablet, you know how engaging technology can be. When used to enrich your curriculum, instead of just as screen time, technology can help you increase active participation in your classroom. Children can use technology as a tool to achieve their learning goals — for example, by matching shapes on an interactive whiteboard or playing interactive, projected games that get them moving.
Engaging uses of technology can make lessons incredibly memorable for children. This can help them retain the information they learn far into the future.
3. Individualize your lesson plans
Children all learn in different ways. Some may learn best through visuals, hands-on activities, lectures, or a mix of all of the above. Technology makes it possible for you to cater your lessons to all your children, so everyone has an equal chance to succeed.
Using technology, you can easily offer educational materials in a variety of formats. Videos can come with transcriptions, slideshows can include links to online activities, and more. Children can choose the path that works best for them, while still gaining the same knowledge as their peers.
Technology also offers the added benefit of letting the children learn at their own speed. Instead of requiring them to jot down notes during an in-person lecture, they can review materials as needed to enhance their performance in your class.
4. Enhance testing with AI
The technology you implement doesn’t have to be used by children: it can also help support educators in their work. This is perfectly illustrated by the rising use of artificial intelligence (AI) in testing.
As educators increasingly recognize the pitfalls of standardized tests — for example, teaching exclusively to the test, or penalizing students with test anxiety or limited extracurricular resources — many are turning to AI. Artificial intelligence can gather and provide more comprehensive data than standardized tests, including cognitive, behavioral, and emotional states. This allows educators to fully understand the causal factors behind a child’s dropping test scores and address those concerns before it impacts their long-term success.
AI even allows you to conduct stealth assessments, which children don’t recognize as tests, within your lessons, so you can gauge how well they’re actually retaining information.
5. Help children learn at home
Another way technology can help educators and children succeed is by ensuring the educational journey continues outside of the classroom. Whether you’re running a hybrid classroom, sending children home with homework, or helping an absent child catch up with the class, getting creative with technology and online schoolwork can help you improve a child’s educational journey.
As an example, you can use virtual reality meeting spaces to create a digital classroom modeled on an in-person one. You can also provide parents with online resources — including websites and online tools — that can help them guide their children when they need homework support.
Implement technology for child success
The implementation of technology today — especially for children in preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school — can help your child develop foundational skills for both learning and technology usage in the future. However, technology doesn’t just help with skill-building. It can also enhance knowledge retention by making learning more engaging, personalized, and accessible.
Technology can also be key to moving away from standardized testing, which is proving to be laden with issues. Through AI, you can start to fairly assess children and understand how to best help them improve in the classroom.