I have found using technology in my psychology classroom to be very beneficial. Technology allows me to do things in my classroom that would not otherwise be possible. Students can participate in simulations and experiments that we would not be able to provide without the use of technology. I believe technology also helps increase student interest and prepares them for the world outside the classroom. As stated in Edutopia, “Learning through projects while equipped with technology tools allows students to be intellectually challenged while providing them with a realistic snapshot of what the modern office looks like” (2008). Students may not always be required to recall the different theories and information as learned in the psychology classroom, but they will need to know how to use technology. “The myriad resources of the online world also provide each classroom with more interesting, diverse, and current learning materials. The Web connects students to experts in the real world and provides numerous opportunities for expressing understanding through images, sound, and text” (Edutopia, 2008). Technology provides students with a variety of ways to learn, demonstrate their understanding, and be assessed.
Not only is technology beneficial to learning psychology content, but it is also important to other content area learning. All teachers and subjects are required to cover the Common Core Standards, which center around reading, writing, and speaking skills. Using technology helps provide ways to cover these skills and standards in any content area. Roblyer explains that the definition of literacy has changed over the years, and it now encompasses not only reading and writing, but also being proficient in 21st-century skills, which include technology (2016, p. 261). Students better learn and understand information when they are able to see how it applies outside of the classroom. Stokes says, “knowledge and understanding are deepened when applied across different locations, contexts and activities. Technology can help teachers and learners capture, store, compare and integrate material from and across different settings – whether at school, on a field trip or at home” (2012, p. 4). It seems like some of the most common questions I am asked in my classroom is “why do we need to know this?” and “when am I ever going to use this?” I think those questions are answered when we relate the content in our classroom to other content areas. Students better see the importance and application of information when it is applied throughout all content areas. Stokes drives this point home as she says that linking different activities across learning themes helps “facilitate a deeper learning experience rather than a set of individual, disconnected learning activities” (2012, p. 4). I believe students get a richer learning experience when multiple content areas are integrated, and technology gives us tools that allow us to create those experiences.
Edutopia. (2008). Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons are Many. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction
Roblyer, M. D. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (7th ed.). Massachusetts: Pearson.
Stokes, K. (2012). Decoding learning: the proof, promise and potential of digital education. Education Journal, (149), 8-12.