Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Lessons Learned
by Jim LaBuda
Assistant Professor of Education
Nevada State College

Technology in the Classroom

Last month I celebrated another birthday. I took the opportunity to reflect on life. Part of the reflection process took me through my career path in education. There have been many changes over the past 30 years focusing on improving student achievement.

I think the issue that is most unsettling to me is that we too often try to fix student achievement by altering the curriculum. To me the issue is not the curriculum; it is the delivery of instruction. In other words, “how” we teach children.

The “how” in teaching is changing rapidly through the use of technology. We need to embrace technology and use it to support the delivery of instruction. We will always need the dedicated, caring teacher but technology can assist the teachers, students and parents.

Gone are the chalkboards and the white boards. Interactive “smart boards” are now in the classrooms. They can bring many resources to our classrooms and engage students. Lesson capture cameras can record lessons for review and distant learning. All classes can have an online component for students and parents to participate. iPads are also making their way into the classroom and are powerful instructional tools. It is often said that, “there is an app for everything,” and that includes every type of instruction.

Our schools must get beyond the gadgets and understand that technology can customize learning for students. Technology can support remediation for students who need it and provide advanced students with challenging and accelerated instruction. Students can visit every corner of the world without leaving the classroom. Our children can communicate with teachers and experts around the world. Instruction in our classrooms can reach new heights.

Certainly, technology can be used to track student performance but the real focus needs to be on its utilization within instruction. The focus needs to be on “how” we teach children and technology needs to be an integral part of teaching. Embrace technology in your home and watch for it in your child’s classroom.

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