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Integrating Technology into the Classroom

Guest post written by Heather Jonhson(*)

As a teacher you have the responsibility of making learning fun and interactive for your students. These days that means you have to take advantage of the technological advancements available to you. If you’re unsure of how to integrate computers or other technology into your classroom you’re not alone. The challenge is to make it a seamless addition to your lesson plan. This can be a daunting task, so here are a few tips to help you along the way:

1. Use technology to your advantage. Use an electronic grade book or a word processor to write your tests and handouts. You can use these programs to save time and that’s always the one thing teachers never have enough of.
2. Design your classroom into different stations. Position your classroom computers in an area away from the desks so that your students aren’t distracted when they’re not using them. Students will feel like it’s more special to use the computer if it’s in a section of the classroom that isn’t used that often. It will be more of a treat for them to use the computer if it’s something that isn’t in full view all the time.
3. Sign up for a course. If you’re not adept with computers then take a course so you can be on a par with your students. It seems that even the younger kids are pros with computers that you need to be able to be on their level. If you can’t find a course then talk to a colleague that you feel comfortable approaching and see if they can help you get up to speed.
4. Stay organized. If you have a computer in your classroom that the students use then be sure to keep the computer up to date. Erase files that aren’t necessary to avoid slowing down your system. Avoid letting your students clutter up the desktop. It can be detrimental to your lesson plan if you’re trying to use the computer to teach a lesson and it’s going slowly. You will lose your students’ attention and your message will be lost.
5. Experiment. On your own time explore the Internet for sites that you think will be useful in your lessons. Get to know them thoroughly before introducing them to your students so you can be prepared for any questions they may have for you. Be confident about the web site so that you don’t get rattled when you’re actually utilizing the site.

(*)This article was contributed by Heather Johnson, who is a regular writer on the subject of nursing college grants. She welcomes your questions, comments and writing job opportunities at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

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  1. Those were five great tips in which I follow well in class up until tip four. My computers are extremely slow. They actually have all the information from the teacher who had them last year. I just don't have time to clean up 8 computers. As for tip five, I discover programs all the time and learn the program with my students. Sometimes that works out fine and other times, I just cast those programs into the lake of fire.

  2. Many of these tips are things that I already do in my classroom. Teachers in my school are fortunate to have electronic gradebooks and dedicated teacher computers. The only tip I wish I could follow is #3. We have to share carts of laptops among the 8 math teachers in my building. I would love to have the opportunity to use the laptops on a more regular basis. Since our laptops are passed around so much, they are somewhat beat up. I am open to any suggestions people may have regarding how to use the laptops more efficiently.