Before moving forward with technology integration in education, a great, robust and adaptable academic curriculum is imperative. Only then can you begin to find ways in which technology can help to elevate it. It’s important to never force fit technology – if it’s not supplementing what’s already happening in the classroom or a teacher’s goals for the school year, the addition will become more of a barrier to learning than a catalyst.
We live in an era where schools are praised simply for putting technology in the hands of their students. While familiarization with new technologies can certainly benefit students, ask yourself the following questions before implementing any new tech into the classroom:
- Regardless of the technology, what’s the most important lesson for students to learn?
- Why do I need to use technology in my daily curriculum?
- How are these tech tools enhancing what we’re doing?
- What will the students do with these tools – during and after class?
It is therefore critical to ensure you are always putting the curriculum before the technology. Here are a few ways we at eLimu ensure we are always putting the curriculum before technology:
- Think Curriculum Enhancements, Not Technology Implementations
Even if you feel ready to utilize tech in your classroom, you need to be confident that the implementation will enhance your curriculum, not hinder it. At eLimu we have incorporated content correlating to the national curriculum as well as extended learning content focused on responsible citizenship.
- At eLimu we don’t Use Technology for the Sake of Using Technology
Tech needs to be used for a practical purpose, not just because it’s the “cool” thing to do or because everyone else is doing it. If you do not truly understand how and why to use tech as a learning tool, you’re not ready to implement it just yet. At eLimu we have digitized curriculum and added videos, 3D animations, pneumonic devices to aid retention, quizzes to track progress and Q&A forums to support collaborative learning. Already in schools and libraries where eLimu has been implemented, we have seen phenomenal learning outcomes from improvements in test scores, improved creativity and innovation, increased IT literacy among other.
- Incorporating a Value based curriculum
To help children develop holistically and prepare them to be productive citizens in the society, there is need to construct a value based curriculum towards quality education. eLimu has been designed to make an educational impact as well as a social impact and therefore, in addition to digitizing the national curriculum, eLimu has also included extended learning content which is focused on responsible citizenship. Topics under this include environmental conservation, civic & human rights, justice, peace, nation building, patriotism, health, nutrition, hygiene & nutrition, personal financial literacy and much more. We intend to nurture a generation of problem solvers and reliable leaders who will be driving the economy in 2030 and beyond.
- Focus on Just One Tech Implementation
Trying to leverage too much tech at once can be overwhelming, not just for teachers, but for students and their parents too. Feeling overwhelmed can lead to frustration, and then defeat. That’s why it is recommended to focus on one tech implementation at a time, and to learn it and learn it well before moving on. At eLimu we focus and specialize on tablet as a tool to enhance technology.
- Actively Seek Out Development Opportunities
Being current on how others are implementing technology is critical. There are infinite free, online educational resources to read about tech experiences, learn from them, and share best practices. With a robust curriculum, the possibilities for technology integration are endless. For example: Imagine students from one school video conferencing or skyping with other schools in their area or network to research, discuss, debate and develop potential solutions to globally significant problems In Short Integrating technology into the classroom can be exhilarating, fun, and at times a little scary. That said, you find that more often than not, those in Ed tech industry and educators in general are hungry for more information, and welcome the chance to bring new ideas to the classroom. In the end, if teachers and their administration are ready to embrace the messiness and the risks that sometimes come with technology, the reward is that your school’s curriculum – which must be strong to start – can truly be taken to the next level, and beyond. Otherwise, we’ll all be still left trying to figure out how an abacus works.