Integrate technology into elementary math instruction
Developing conceptual reasoning is one way educators are working to empower the next generation of mathematicians. Educational technology products are an essential part of helping students and teachers achieve this goal.
The Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia, place a particular emphasis on integration of technology into the classroom. Strategic and embedded use of technology spans both grade levels and subject areas. Students are expected to develop skills they will need to be successful in college and in 21st century careers.
In addition to federal and state policies encouraging the incorporation of education technology, many national organizations are also endorsing this method of instruction. The National Science Foundation has made note of the transformative potential using technology in the classroom can have both on educators’ math teaching strategies and the way that students learn.
In elementary schools, where today’s students have grown up so surrounded by technology that its use has become second nature – hence the term “digital natives” – technology can have a particularly positive effect on their academic success.
“Computer applications, either alone or in concert with traditional instruction, may improve achievement by tailoring lessons and skills practice to individual students’ needs or by offering students additional opportunities to interact with information,” the NSF explained in a report.
For elementary math teachers who are not used to employing technology as a teaching tool, the task of bringing it into the classroom may be daunting. Fortunately, the emphasis that the Common Core State Standards place on technology means there are a wide variety of resources available. These options will help principals and teachers alike ensure that they are meeting the requirements that have been laid out.
Teachers should take care to read carefully through the standards to make sure they have a thorough understanding of knowledge their students will need to master throughout the year. The Common Core State Standards for math also provide examples of how technology relates to each academic expectation.
Instructional technology but educators can use it to enhance their instruction. Adaptive learning programs may be particularly helpful for teachers with large classes, because it allows students of different skill levels to learn at their own pace, freeing up time for teachers to give them individualized attention.
When employed properly, technology will bring more interactivity to the elementary math classroom and show kids at a young age that math can be fun and will help them a great deal in the real world.
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