Teacher talk: Yes, students should have computers in the classroom
I have been given the fortunate opportunity to teach in a project-based classroom, providing my students the chance to engage in hands-on active learning. Among these activities and lessons, the use of classroom computers comes in handy each and every day. Not only do these opportunities allow the students to learn and maintain 21st-century skills, but they give me the chance to provide more small group and individually-based instruction.
Technology helps my students
A few weeks ago, I was observed by a group of parents and administrators who were baffled by the idea that our gifted-and-talented program was able to offer students so much differentiated and individualized instruction. I merely shrugged my shoulders and explained that without the assistance of technology it would be nearly impossible. As I looked out over my group of fourth-grade learners, I observed them busy at work. While a some were researching the benefits of nutrition and exercise, another group was typing up their findings in Microsoft Word, creating graphs in Excel, or devising a Power Point presentation to share the information with their peers. I am constantly impressed by the amount of technological skills that these students have learned by the ages of 8 to 10!
Another reason why I think students should have computers in the classroom is because it gives them many opportunities to enhance their skills in different areas. They can complete class assignments, visit math forums and even compete in educational games with students from around the world. Many students have that competitive edge and enjoy the chance at beating their opponent -- but at the same time, they are strengthening their skill set and becoming better learners.
My students have also explored the world of blogging, which helps them improve their literacy skills. They are given the chance to respond to each other on various topics, ranging from their favorite book to current event issues. Not only does this help the students advance their reading and writing skills, it also provides an additional way for parents to stay connected to the classroom, as they can read their child's posts and those made by classmates.
Technology helps me with teaching, too
As well, while the students are engaged in their science research projects, I have the opportunity to pull small groups of students or individuals aside and work with them on specific reading, writing, or math issues. There are so many reasons I support computer use in the classroom. With all the advantages it affords both students and teachers, this technology truly helps improve a child's education, preparing them with necessary 21st-century skills.
About the Author:
Christi Wilson is a credentialed teacher of highly-gifted students in Northern Nevada. She has 11 years of classroom teaching experience, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in education leadership, and has even taught K-12 education online. A mother of three busy boys, she knows how important it is to keep students engaged in the classroom and interested in a lifetime of learning.