As technology becomes more and more prevalent in the classroom, teachers at all levels strive to find innovative ways to help students communicate with them and one another. Many educators are making use of tablets to facilitate communication among students both in and out of the classroom. Others are using social media, proprietary software or just good old-fashioned email to provide feedback, instruction and insights.

Teachers continue to leverage technology as a viable and effective way to remain connected with their students after the school day and office hours have ended. They are also able to use it to more closely monitor communication and student progress within the classroom. Here are some of the specific ways technology has been facilitating communication in the classroom:

Social Media

Twitter and Facebook can be great places for teachers and students to post paper or project proposals. Students can keep one another updated about group projects or changes to homework assignments. Social media can work both as a social tool and an educational medium in the school setting.

Zoom

Zoom is one of the most effective and user-friendly methods for student communication outside of the classroom. Students can brainstorm and study together over Zoom after class, offering a convenient and free way to get together (virtually) and discuss their studies anytime. Teachers can also conduct student interviews about papers or other homework via Zoom.

YouTube

YouTube videos are a great way for students to post speeches or oral presentations. Teachers can also post assignments, instructions, recordings of lectures, feedback for specific students or general messages for the class.

Email and Blog Posts

Many students and teachers find that the written word offers more clarity than a conversation. Things become more concrete, and there is less of a chance for ambiguity or confusion. Blog posts and multi-recipient emails can encourage discussion of classroom topics, providing an open forum for debate and analysis.

The Cloud

Cloud services such as Google Drive are excellent for group writing projects. Updates are saved in real time and students can work on the assignment whenever and wherever it is convenient for them.

Apps

Applications and/or proprietary cloud-based software can help to facilitate student progress and communication. There’s an app for just about every facet of learning, and students who are using the same app for their studies can compare notes and share how it’s working best for them.

Online High School

Technology and the internet have made earning a high school diploma online as valid as attending a physical school. Communication via webinar, podcast and all of the methods listed above facilitate a rich, rewarding and multi-media educational experience.

Technology in education is definitely providing greater accessibility among students and instructors. With the 24/7 ability to interact, students are able to receive information and feedback much more quickly than with past methods of communication.

Pros and Cons

From lesson plans to tablet computers to social media learning, technology is re-shaping the way teachers and students communicate. But while technology is useful, it’s not without its pitfalls. Twitter, Facebook, chat, YouTube and other social media tools have been primarily seen and used as recreational tools by many students. Getting them to consistently use them for educational purposes may take some coaxing.

There’s always the risk of distraction or even addiction to technologies such as texting, surfing the web or posting on social media. The ideal scenario is a balance between technology in the classroom while never losing the personal touch that face to face interaction can offer.

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