Teaching Tip: Approaches To Teaching Students New Technology Tools

There are many ways to approach teaching a new technology tool to your class. You can hand them a sheet of instructions or a URL and have them learn on their own time. You can schedule class time in a computer lab to walk students through instructions step-by-step. You can  show students a process and hope they take good notes. You can monitor and assist students on a case-by-case basis. The truth is, nobody is really sure which method works best. This is still an emerging field of academic research.

One method that has shown promise is teaching technology skills as an integral part of other classroom activities. This means that rather than giving students a tutorial on a new tool, you are giving students a series of tasks to do with the new tool. While students figure out how to accomplish these tasks, their explorations build a deeper understanding of the tool than they could gain through a standard tutorial.

An added benefit of this integrated method is that it not only teaches students how to use a tool, it teaches them when to use it. If you teach students to use a piece of software by giving them a set of instructions, then they’ll know that the software can be used for that single task. When students explore the software, they find new ways to use it, and they figure out how to use it to solve everyday problems.

— Guthrie

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8 Responses to Teaching Tip: Approaches To Teaching Students New Technology Tools

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  7. The truth is, nobody is really sure which method works best. This is still an emerging field of academic research.

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