There’s no denying that technology is being used with increased frequency in classrooms across the country—a fact that has created quite a debate in the world of educators. Today, technology-heavy classes where every student has access to a personal electronic device (tablet, netbook, or laptop) are known as 1:1 classrooms. And interestingly enough, a recent study of nearly 1,000 schools found that 1:1 schools out-perform traditional schools in a number of academic and even financial aspects.
So, how can 1:1 teaching benefit your classroom?
Long Term Money Savings
A lot of schools are shy to implement 1:1 classrooms due to the high initial costs involved. Purchasing a tablet or netbook for every student can be an expensive endeavor, but when you actually take the time to consider the long-term savings, the investment is often more than worth it. These days, tablets and other devices come with a number of free apps and features that will save your classroom money. For example, with built-in calculators, you can avoid having to buy new ones for your classroom each year.
Greater Student Engagement
Another common concern schools have over implementing 1:1 classrooms is that these devices will create a distraction for students. In reality, however, most teachers report that these devices actually increase student engagement, keeping them more interested in the subject matter than they would be if they were simply listening to a teacher give a lecture at the front of the classroom.
More Creative Learning Outlets
No matter what subject you may be teaching, electronic devices provide your students with unique opportunities to learn. Rather than composing “traditional” written essays in class, these devices allow students to get creative in demonstrating their learning. In fact, they’re able to do anything from create a video presentation to recording a Podcast and everything in between.
Tailored Learning Experiences
It’s no secret that not all students learn in the same manner. Some are visual learners, whereas others are better off learning through hands-on activities. When every student has access to their own device, they’re able to learn in the way that’s best for them. Based on each student’s learning style, teachers can provide different versions of the same lesson. This can be especially useful for math lessons, but come in handy across all subject matters.
Improved Student/Teacher Communication
Finally, many teachers have found that they’re able to spend less time grading while still providing specific feedback to each student thanks to 1:1 teaching. For example, it’s easy for teachers to leave verbal feedback in the form of an .mp3 file, rather than taking the time to print out an assignment and leave physical comments on it.
As you can see, the 1:1 classroom may just be the way of the future. Just make sure you have the right tools and supplies to keep your classroom devices safe and secure, should your school decide to make this transition.