With the advent of technology being used as an educational tool, there are now questions about how to attain these applications and devices. Recent trends have seen positive outcomes from utilizing mobile devices, virtual laboratories, and the like in classroom settings. It is not a secret that technology comes at a high financial cost. This does not mean, however, that students who do not have monetary support should be denied opportunities to expand their learning. There are plenty of ways to work around the trend of educational technology without having to compromise the growth of students or educators.
Here are some tips for meeting tech needs of low-income schools:
For schools in low-income areas, parental support is crucial for students to achieve success. Educators must find a way to engage families to be a part of the school community. Parents can be active in planning out programs for the students and talk about how to incorporate technology in a way that is feasible for them.
Use What is Available
There are tons of free applications online that teachers can use to ease their workload. An example of this is Better Lesson, which has pre-made lesson plans for various subjects. Another useful application is Kickboard for Schools, which allows teachers to track their students’ achievements and analyze their progress. There are apps like these that can be found online and can help teachers with all their organizational and instructional classroom needs without costing a dime.
Bring Your Own Device
New trends in educational technology have claimed that incorporating mobile devices into classrooms is a new and effective way to capture students’ interest in learning. However, devices cannot be provided for low-income schools, which is why there have been policies asking students to bring their own devices to school. Smartphones, for example, have recently been something commonly found in households that can also be used for educational purposes.
Technology as Supplements, not Replacements
Although educational technology has become well received in various schools, it should not be used to completely replace class programs and curriculums. Especially for low-income schools that want to integrate the use of technology in their classes, maintaining the use of these devices and applications may not be realistic as the cost may be a hindrance. Instead, technology should be used only as supplements that further enrich the facilitation of learning, and not as mere substitutes.
Go for Low-cost Alternatives
Laptops, tablets, and different kinds of mobile devices are what’s trendy when it comes to educational technology devices. However, these do not come cheap. An alternative could be the less expensive: Chromebook. It is perfect for students and costs only a fraction of the price of a traditional laptop of desktop computer.
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