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How Teachers Can Meet the Needs of Students in Tech-Filled Classrooms

Technology in the classroom has both helped and hurt the way educators’ structure their lessons in class. While teachers search for ways to utilize the new tools, some experts believe that students need a “more well-rounded education” that goes beyond a tech-driven, test-prep style of learning.

“While this approach may temporarily boost test scores, it risks shortchanging today's students, who need a more well-rounded education that includes a balance of academic rigor,” asserts Roberta Ross-Fisher, Manager of Program Reporting, Compliance and Accreditation, for Western Governors University, according to a recent Tennessean article, “critical thinking, socialization, character development, citizenship, physical fitness and healthy emotional growth; in other words — an education that meets the needs of the whole student.”

Teaching to test yields students who are essentially programmed to memorize facts. Often times what happens is after taking exams, students forget what they’ve learned and really haven’t taken anything away from normal instruction.

In almost all instances  educators' hands are tied when it comes to going beyond the curriculum. However, there are certain aspects of instruction that educators can harness to make sure they are doing the best they can for their students.

“To effectively prepare students for the world of work, they must be taught to think critically, to solve problems from a variety of approaches, to use their creativity and to persevere through roadblocks,” says Ross-Fisher.

“Little of what occurs in today's K-12 classrooms supports these objectives.”

As a way to put your foot in the right direction, Ross-Fisher suggests using Rose Reismann’s “The Three No’s Students Want to Hear.” The no’s goes as follows, “there is no single right answer, there is no one right way to complete a project and students are not required to voice their answers out loud.”

“By removing predetermined pictures about what learning should look like, teachers can create a safe environment where students are encouraged to hone their own thinking skills and learning style preferences,” says Ross-Fisher.

“The result can be a much richer, more robust learning environment that elicits a deeper level of thinking and research.”

While technology makes most professions easier and is essentially designed to make teaching easier, the fact is it doesn’t solve every emotional and social problem a child has. If teachers can supplement tech use and the test to teach method with exercises that enable students to think deeper, it may yield a better workforce.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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