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Chapter 11 William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

Instructional Materials and Technology Use in the Classroom

In the course of traditional teaching, students sometimes fail to command a thorough understanding of their subject matter, whether complex or simple. Using audio visual aids in addition to the textbook brings such subject matter into clearer focus and often improves teacher effectiveness in the classroom. Students tend to be more engaged when these tools and devices are utilized which will increase student learning and retention. Teachers have always been exposed to a large variety of instructional materials and audio-visual aids during training, yet they often avoided using them in classrooms because they simply did not have the time to master their functional operation. Todays selections of audio-visual aids, though highly sophisticated, have been engineered with the user in mind. These include interactive computers, overhead projectors, LCD projectors, COWs (computers on wheels), cassette recorders, and television video recorders. Decide which of these best contributes to the educational goals set for students and then plan classroom activities so they will be incorporated in the learning process. Keep in mind that students are coming to us technologically literate and are accustomed to playing video games and using other devices that keep them interactively challenged. Increasing the use of technology for computer assignments and activities could enhance the learning experience for the child, promote greater student participation, and maintain a higher interest in the lesson. Observing teachers who are using educational equipment can be motivating. Stay abreast of what is available in instructional materials by attending workshops on audio-visual education, radio and television production, or effective use of computers. If unfamiliar with certain instructional materials, aggressively seek in-service training to learn how to use instructional technology. Effective use of audio-visuals enhances classroom learning and unleashes creativity in teacher and students. Strive constantly to improve teaching methods by seeking innovative aids that will motivate children towards more successful communication. The secret to effective

planning is using a variety of instructional materials including print material such as books and pamphlets; non-print materials such as pictures, CD's, DVD's, records, and tapes; and the necessary audio visual equipment for viewing of and listening to these materials. Evaluate their effectiveness in the classroom and make necessary adaptations to attain maximum potential. An overhead projector by itself or accompanied with a computer is essential equipment for any classroom. Like the chalkboard, the overhead projector has a variety of instructional functions. One of its main advantages during presentation of subject matter is that it allows teachers to face students rather than teaching with their backs to the class as when using the chalk board. PowerPoints and Promethean interactive whiteboards may be used interchangeably to further increase instructional effectiveness. Promethean interactive whiteboards engage children with vivid image video and audio. This could make learning much more exciting and bring learning to life. Regardless of location, culturally disadvantaged and socially deprived children will be present in the classroom. Appropriate instructional materials for these children help to cross cultural barriers and unblock the learning potential of these students. Search continually for innovative technology that will meet the needs of these children. The skills level of these and all children will be advanced because of the use of technology in the classroom. They will learn information technology skills along with learning how to care for this technology. Teachers who participate in school systems, county, and state-wide programs for developing and writing resource lessons become acquainted with the diverse enrichment materials that are available for classroom use. Among these are electronic links such as school-wide networks, community bulletin boards and global networks which are easily accessible to facilitate communication between students, parents, teachers, and other entities from within the classroom. While these educational enhancements are being integrated into the teaching and learning paradigm, this is causing the question to be posed, what is it that students should know and be able to do? It is clear that knowledge has been expanded far beyond this century. The impact is on 21st century skills. In preparing children for what is ahead of them in the world,

technology has gained recognition as something that is upon us and is a vital part of our everyday lives. Discover where and how to obtain these various materials and then use them to obtain maximum classroom effectiveness.

A Thought in Words Education is the chief defense of nations. Burke