Technology gives students quick feedback on what they are learning, empowers them to be agents of their own education, teaches important social skills and helps students explore the world in new ways.
Teachers using web-based tools can quickly find out how well students understand a new concept. Students can answer a few questions or solve a problem, submit it to the teacher online and the teacher instantly can see where students need extra help, reteaching, or are clear to go to the next topic. This instant feedback replaces traditional quizzes that were given on paper, graded by the teacher at night, and then brought back a day or two later.
Students become creators of knowledge content rather than just passive consumers with technology. They will now be able to create a video that compares and contrasts two characters in a book or play, stretching them to move beyond just the script writing. They might write a blog and ask for comments from their classmates or reach out to experts in a given field to help them hone their knowledge. Students who learn best visually might create an eye-catching infographic that summarizes their knowledge of a topic. A history buff could create a Google Map that pinpoints geographic locations such as Civil War battle sites with pictures and battle information that pops up in the map, or an interactive map of the Underground Railroad.
We live in a connected world. Businesses fully expect their employees to work well in teams and it is becoming more common to see those teams composed of people working from many different locations. Our students will leave school with a deep understanding of using technology to work collaboratively in a team to accomplish a task or complete a project.
Technology allows students to travel to virtually anywhere. They can use Google Street view to explore foreign cities and walk through the most famous museums in the world, examining art works and historical artifacts with microscopic vision. Teachers can host Google Hangouts with guest speakers and authors from anywhere in the world, allowing students to interact with them as if they were all in the same room. Students can use Google Maps to explore the surface of the moon and Mars or swim around the Great Barrier Reef any time or any day. Technology offers possibilities that were previously so expensive or dangerous that we would never have considered them.