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WHEN IS TECHNOLOGY NECESSARY? The #1 reason to give your students screen time

Tis would not be possible in real life without expensive, scientific equipment. activity/states_of_matter/mole- cules.swf

With this site, students can see sim- ulated damage from earthquakes at all magnitudes in order to draw conclusions about the richter scale.

Without this site, students would need to view static photographs and would not be able to test damage at different levels of the scale. enceIllustrations/earthquake/ earthquake_movie.swf

In the rush for schools to get tech- nology in the hands of teachers and students, sometimes a well thought- out plan for how the technology will be used is not in place.

Technology is a tool, and just like I wouldn’t use a hammer to paint a wall, technology isn’t always neces- sary to achieving a learning goal.

However, there are many times technology can be an integral piece of the learning process. Te chal- lenge is knowing when this is the case.

One of the greatest reasons for justifying the use of technol- ogy is when it allows you to

see or do things not otherwise possible because of a lack of

access, time, or materials—or because technology is simply the only way it is possible.

Here are a few examples of situ- ations where technology should be an integral part of the learning process:.

Google Earth is one of the best ex- amples of technology allowing you to do things that wouldn’t other- wise be possible.

Students can travel to any location in the world, under the ocean, and even in space! Scan this QR code to read an article about using Google Earth for virtual field trips.

With this site, students can see a simulation of particles so they can draw a conclusion about their movement in solids, liquids, and gasses.

Tis site allows students to con- struct an environment for fish and then test that environment to deter- mine how many will survive.

A scientific simulation like this would otherwise not be possible for students on a large scale. level1.swf

Tis site allows students to create an animated story to bring their writing to life.

Tere are many valid reasons to use technology in your classroom besides those shared above--many of which have been discussed else- where in this very magazine.

Te purpose of this article is so the next time you make the choice to use technology in your classroom, you simply pause and ask yourself if it is the best tool to help students meet your current learning goals.


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