Teaching requires many different tools. New technology is forever upgrading the tools available to educators and schools. Families and early educators now have access to a variety of teaching tools that continue to change the way students are being taught, including apps, digital books, games, video chatting software, and of course, educational software for schools.
With such a variety of tools available, online learning software continues to evolve; blended learning programs that incorporate new technologies are helping move the needle when it comes to having educational software for kids readily available. Even teachers who prefer to teach “old school” are recognizing the value of technology which, when used appropriately, can be an incredibly powerful and effective tool for teaching and learning. When implemented into the classroom whether in person or virtually, technology can increase access to new learning opportunities for all school-age children. It can also help to increase the connection between parents, educators, and children. Online educational software for schools is particularly helpful for a generation of students who have spent more time in front of a screen than any previous generation.
Equitable access to technology is the key to ensuring all students are progressing through use of these new teaching tools. Technology, while pervasive, doesn’t always wind up in the hands of marginalized students or those attending schools in districts where funding doesn’t keep pace with advances in technology. For early learners, technology can be used to inspire the imagination, engage them in interactive play, solve problems, and role play. This blended learning can be customized to the particular needs of both individuals and classrooms. There is such a variety of online learning software, that teachers should be able to craft exceptional lesson plans that are fresh and relevant to student experiences and cultures.
While the thought of incorporating technology into the classroom may seem daunting, children are rarely intimidated by such new digital learning platforms. Many children are exposed to “gamer culture” at an early age, so there is already a history in the use of technology to explore, learn, and express themselves. Naturally, all blended learning programs must determine which new digital platforms and technologies are appropriate for the children being taught. While there is a plethora of online reading programs for elementary students, not all of them are specifically designed for educators and classroom use, so it’s important to do proper analysis on the benefits of such technology.
Balancing Traditional with Online Learning Programs
When teaching in early learning settings, technology should be integrated and used in rotation with other non-digital learning tools. Art materials, writing materials, books, and play materials that inspire personal expression or make-believe are also important for childhood development. Blended learning is the goal, not replacing traditional learning materials with technological alternatives. It is incumbent on educators and school administrators to determine proper guidelines for appropriate amounts of technology in the classroom. For example, digital reading programs offer many advantages that a book can’t offer. A digital device can hold dozens of stories for children to explore; words can be highlighted, activities can be embedded into the lesson, and children can choose to have text read out loud. That’s not to say a traditional book has no value; in fact, it’s important to nurture a passion for reading books at an early age.
Essential Skills Offers a Variety of Options for Blended Learning
Essential Skills software for elementary students offers independent, self-paced learning with built in pre-test and assessment capabilities. Learn more about how Essential Skills online reading programs can help support your blended learning initiatives.