As teachers, we should carefully consider what gadgets to use in the classroom to facilitate student learning effectively. Undoubtedly, educational technology has greatly impacted our classroom management strategies.
Being a classroom teacher for years, I really recognize how important technology is in making learning interactive and appealing to students. Hence, I ask how do I choose classroom gadgets for teachers?
Which techy gadgets should I choose? What to consider?
In my recent post, I made mention how to use gadgets safely in the classroom. Today, I am to discuss useful tips on how to choose from among the myriad technologies that can elevate my teaching prowess and enhance student learning as well. I believe that choosing the right classroom tools shouldn’t be that challenging.
My use of technology should not only benefit me but most importantly my students. This is my #1 rule. Aside from that, I cover important considerations to make before hopping to a concluding purchase of classroom gadgets for teachers.
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So I ask again.
How Do I Choose Classroom Gadgets for Teachers?
Although there are cool EdTech tools and apps already available and are very appealing, as for me, I have to first analyze their functionalities, relevance, and effectiveness in the different teaching and learning tasks. I don’t make decisions right then and there although I’m pretty sure that these electronic devices provide endless teaching and learning opportunities.
I still believe in a well-thought decision.
Meanwhile, teaching and learning have been made more interactive with the different online platforms and amazing EdTech tools. However, teachers have to consider several factors and make an analysis.
Just like when I decided to use a laptop in my classroom and have access to the internet, I asked myself so many questions before I finally made a decision.
It can help because it entails assessing your teaching needs and the learning needs of your learners. Besides, the rich arsenal of gadgets in the market has created hope for both teachers and students to make quality learning accessible.
Incredibly, we just can’t deny the importance of technology in the classroom.
9 Important Tips To Consider in Choosing Your Classroom Devices
1. Relevance to Learning goals
As for me, this is the most important factor to consider when choosing the right educational gadget. Does it support learning goals and the curriculum? Does it help to keep students motivated? These are important questions to ask when you match techy gadgets to different learning goals.
Keeping students attentive the whole period is quite challenging for me. It requires hard work, innovation, and passion. So, I have to think of incredible ways to keep my students interested.
For that matter, I scour the net for the best laptop for teachers. I read reliable reviews and match them to the set learning goals and to the curriculum as well.
Using a laptop in my presentations supported by a high-quality external Bluetooth speaker and a highly functional projector makes my students really engaged. They are even excited to navigate and they love it.
Then, I realize that innovative teaching is really within reach. Only that you have to be more precise of which among the rich technologies can best support learning.
2. Needs of teachers and students
Precisely! The use of techy electronic devices in the classroom can benefit both teachers and students. However, I have to be certain in what particular detail so my best efforts and my choice won’t be for naught.
To increase students’ focus, teachers have to do something. Students have learning needs and I have my own techy needs too. I use gadgets for the automation of some tasks like recording, printing, downloading, presenting, and many more.
How can we help students achieve their learning goals? How to increase their academic performance? Well, we need techy tools as much as we need digital content to supplement learning competencies to achieve full mastery.
I believe that students need hands-on experience to have a full grasp of content and to appreciate the learning material. The use of smartboards in the classroom, for example, enhances students’ engagement and brings in more beneficial interactions with the students. It’s a piece of incredible technological equipment that is a perfect deviation from the traditional chalk and board classroom.
Furthermore, the use of digital textbooks, lapels, and other smart technology has supported students learning needs and strengthened teaching pedagogies for a productive learning atmosphere. Hence, most classrooms today house varied electronic devices to support teachers’ and students’ needs.
Gadgets in the classroom should be child-friendly. Make sure that the pre-installed apps on tablets and smartphones are safe to use by children.
Even though we are talking about gadgets for teachers here, in principle, I should be certain that the electronic devices I use in my presentations and other learning activities are age-appropriate.
Gadgets that are used to facilitate learning should be age-appropriate to heighten their effectiveness and functionalities. As most learners today are already well-versed in using smartphones, tablets, and laptops, I embark from that standpoint to give them enriching learning experiences.
I know that technology is capable of replacing some physical educational materials, but teachers have to consider what’s right and proper for the immediate clientele in the classroom – the students.
Although I can decide for myself what gadgets to use in the classroom, I still have to consider the age of my learners. Since I allow my students to navigate interactive electronic devices such as digital textbooks, document cameras, and many others, I should be careful what’s most fitting to their age and level.
4. Learning environment
With technology, students are most capable of learning a wide range of skills with great concentration and efficiency. In other words, the use of classroom gadgets has made the learning environment exciting and made students’ learning experiences noteworthy.
Although the use of digital devices in classrooms has been banned in other schools, I admit that the ‘gizmo’ thing facilitates discussion and improves student engagement. Moreover, the supervised use of technology in the classroom promotes collaboration among students.
One time, I asked my students to research the etymology of the vocabulary words found in the short story we read. I allowed using their mobile phones as they have access to the internet provided by the government in schools. Since not everyone has mobile phones, I grouped them accordingly.
Fortunately, the school’s stakeholders donated tablets to our school for student use. It’s a big help to help students get more advanced especially those who can’t afford to buy electronic devices, at least the school has provided for them even though it’s just for classroom use.
5. Manageability and functionality
For this, I am inspired by the words of Mindy G., ELA Teacher, that, “My job managing 90 students’ independent reading has been so much easier and meaningful since I started using Whooo’s Reading.” The manageability and functionality of classroom gadgets serve as performance enablers because they make complicated tasks such as research and digital presentations easier and more interesting.
Most people love gadgets because of their functionality. Technology application and integration in the classroom have modified teaching and learning.
Most importantly, when presentations are flashed on the screen, you save time in preparing colorful visual aids. Thus, I consider it a big help in multitasking and time management.
Not only that, when students are doing guided research, they are given opportunities to gather important and relevant information about the topic which makes them confident in participating in the discussion.
Hence, I consider myself a technology fan but I’m still open to applying traditional ways like lectures and teacher discussions especially if students are asking for clarifications, examples, and explanations of complex concepts.
Because most gadgets are easy to use and are manageable, my students find them really useful. I should say, this practical tip helps me choose which gadgets can make the learning environment productive. My choices should not take up time to assemble and install educational apps.
There are awesome gadgets in the market that are not only engaging and functional but also affordable. Cost-effective gadgets are what most teachers have been looking for. In choosing gadgets for the classroom, of course, we have to consider their affordability. Does it fit your personal budget or the school’s budget?
As we know the span of education doesn’t only focus on instruction but also on other important things such as infrastructure, administration, health programs, and linkages. Therefore, as concerned teachers, we should also think about what’s affordable without compromising quality instructional delivery.
Always remember that lessons can be made interactive and engaging, and most importantly, inexpensive. This aspect really calls for your creativity and innovation as a teacher.
Hence, don’t say that you can’t afford to use techy electronic devices in the classroom. Of course, you can! You just have to be wiser when it comes to price selection for quality gadgets.
7. Easy to Use
It’s one of the most practical things to consider when using classroom technology. Are these learning tools easy to navigate?
Primarily, Edtech tools and apps promote productivity if their users find their usage very comfortable.
When using classroom gadgets you have to ensure that your students are more comfortable learning. Easy-to-use gadgets can do great things in enhancing students’ abilities and increasing student engagement.
Does navigating through tablets, laptops, and touch screen tools make students even more active participants in learning? What can you say about the learning outcomes? If the results are good, then, it’s an indication that the classroom tools you prefer are easy to use and meet students’ learning needs.
8. Foster Interaction and Collaboration
Does the learning tool encourage students to participate and to collaborate? Deeply motivated students are more likely to increase their performance because they exhibit a love for learning.
When the students are more inspired to work with their peers and are more excited to use the learning tools more often, then we can say that you have chosen the best classroom gadgets for teachers.
To be more decisive in choosing classroom gadgets for teachers, you should watch this video and re-assess the use of technology in education.
With these tips in mind, I find it easier to decide which classroom gadgets I should utilize in my classroom. If you purchase it through your salary, considering its great use, I can say that having gadgets in the classroom is an important investment as well. It is an investment in knowledge and skills.
Never choose gadgets on a bee. Think of the main purpose of the electronic device so you won’t lose track. Because gadgets are stylish and attractive, stick to your purpose.
Another thing to remember is to personally guide your students when they use electronic devices. Most importantly, before anything else, you should remember the smart tips mentioned on this page.
What else should we consider in choosing classroom gadgets for teachers? If you have anything to add, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.