Some Ways of Integrating Technology in the Primary Grades.

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We live in a time when technology takes over all spheres of our life. Computers control supplying water and electricity in cities as well as robots producing cars.  But when we speak about technology in education we mean mostly computer-based technologies. They give amazing opportunities both for teachers and students. Virtual field trips, web-quests, computer-based projects, online tests are only a few to mention. Computers and the Internet made studying possible during the covid-19 lockdowns.  But it’s interesting that in most countries during those lockdowns middle-high and high school students studied online while primary school students either had additional vacations or went to school having additional safety measures. This happened for a reason.  Blogger Kris Thomson from cheap assignment writing service claims that there are several problems with integrating technology in the primary grades.

Problems with Integrating Technology in the Primary Grades.

The first problem with integrating technology in the primary grades lies in the accessibility of different types of technology. Even now not many schools have classes with whiteboards where all students have computers with Internet access. What is more, not all students have computers with reliable Internet access at home. There is one more aspect—it’s teachers’ readiness to use technologies during their lessons. Using a whiteboard at the lesson, for example, means using methods of teaching that are different from traditional ones. Not all teachers are ready to spend more time preparing for the lesson or to learn new approaches.  But speaking about primary school students, there is one more problem students of the first four grades and their teachers face. If it comes to the individual usage of computers by those students, this should be done under adults’ supervision.  The reasons for this are the following. Firstly, 6-9-year-olds can experience technical difficulties with getting to the necessary website.  Secondly, they need supervision with fulfilling the given tasks because they might have difficulties with typing. Still, there are many ways for integrating technology in the primary grades. Let’s consider some of them.

  • Primary grades students (6-8 year-olds) can identify models and do simulations on personal computers. Older students can do more independent tasks, like web quests. A web-quest is a web-based activity where students make certain research based on visiting websites (selected by their teacher), participate in videoconferences (prepared by the teacher), read paper-based or online articles. 
  • It’s also possible to have a virtual excursion to a museum or a forest. With advanced special technology, students can participate in virtual reality activities.
  • A whiteboard helps to make a lesson very different.  It serves as a screen of a smartphone and students can either see what is going on the screen of the teacher’s laptop or can do exercises on the whiteboard simply moving objects as they do on the smartphone’s screen.
  • Different kinds of educational videos, as well as videos for physical activity breaks, are also a great option for primary grades.
  • Students of higher primary school grades (9-12years olds) can do tests online or on their computers. The covid-19 lockdown proved that students of the 5-6th grades did pretty fine studying online via Zoom, Meet, and other platforms.
  • Technology helps make communication between parents and teachers easier.  Nowadays due to special software parents are informed about their kids’ marks immediately.  Parents can also get pieces of advice from teachers if necessary.

Integrating technology in primary grades might be difficult.  Governments need to invest more money into the technological development of schools. More efforts should be taken to prepare and probably to stimulate teachers to use technologies.  Covid-19 lockdown also demonstrated the necessity to create various kinds of educational software for different school subjects and grades. All this also demands money investments. But, quite often in classes having whiteboards, laptops, and already existing free software or the Internet platforms, those technical opportunities aren’t used to their fullest. Informing teachers about the possibilities and stimulating them to use technology more often during their lessons will help a lot. There is one more thing to remember. Integrating technology in primary grades needs special teacher’s attitudes.  He/she should always inspect the way his/her students are doing the task. If necessary, the teacher has to redirect the student and correct the way students are working. This should be done during the students’ work on the computer.

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