Written by teacher Eva Jakupčević
Nowadays, teachers are finding themselves under increasing pressure to use ICT, but not everyone believes that technology is the be-all and end-all of the classroom.
Does ICT bring benefits into the classroom?
Many may wonder if ICT tools are really necessary in the classroom or if they are just a safety net for teachers who are not creative enough to engage students without the help of these aids. Personally, I have met many teachers who successfully teach without any technology and those who use technology in ways that are inefficient and often unnecessary, bringing nothing new to the classroom. In spite all of this, I firmly believe that when used well, ICT can bring countless benefits to students and teachers and make the already stressful lives much easier.
Finding new ICT tools
When thinking about whether to use an ICT tool in your classroom to replace or augment a more traditional task, it is always necessary to weigh the pros and cons. For example, some may feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of available ICT tools and the endless lists of benefits that they promise. Some are worth the effort of finding out how to use them, while others are a failed attempt to create something fresh. That’s why the best way to find new ICT tools to use in the classroom is to get recommendations and demonstrations from colleagues or participate in online or face-to-face courses where you get the chance to try these tools out. There is no better way of finding out how engaging a tool can be than trying it out for yourself.
ICT tools – making lives easier
Another possible downside of finding new ICT tools for your classroom is that it can be time- consuming to start using them. However, in the long run these digital activities will make your life so much easier. As opposed to mountains of papers and folders of documents you have to remember to look through every year, ICT tools and specific activities within them are usually easy to overview and browse. On top of this, many of these tools make it easy to share materials among teachers in your school, allowing you and your colleagues to distribute the workload and avoid creating the same activities multiple times.
Adding value to your classes
ICT in the classroom can add value to your classes and help you support your students in new and efficient ways. However, efficient use of ICT depends on you – you’re the one who has to choose the right tool and make sure that the task and its aims are clear. Working together with your colleagues or participating in workshops or courses can make the process so much easier, so don’t be afraid to ask around and see what’s available. All in all, a little experimentation goes a long way, and once you’re on your way, you and your students will surely reap the benefits.