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5 Ways Technology in the Classroom Can Enhance Student Learning

5 Ways Technology in the Classroom Can Enhance Student Learning

As technology continues to infiltrate every area of our lives, the benefits of using technology in the classroom can no longer be denied.

For example, iPads and tablets can replace bulky textbooks. Smartphones can allow for quick research and access to educational apps. Social media can provide an opportunity for increased parent-teacher communication and student activities.

Monitoring services can be used to track the usage of technology. Technology can also be an important way for teachers to collect student data that can have a positive impact on learning outcomes.

    The good news is that the research also backs this up. In a study completed by KIPP Academy in Houston, TX,the percentage of students who achieved an overall rating of either proficient or advanced was 49% percent higher in classrooms that are using iPads, compared to traditional classrooms with no iPads. In another study completed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in California, students using iPads saw their math test scores increase 20% in one year compared to students using traditional textbooks.

    As you can see, the impact that technology can have on student learning outcomes is quite significant. Technology has the unique opportunity to change the way that students learn and teachers teach. The professional development of teachers has started to evolve to include ways to incorporate emerging technology and tools into classroom activities. When technology is embraced in the classroom, students are better positioned to be successful in their lives outside of school.

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    Here are a few more reasons that technology in the classroom is revolutionizing education.

    1. Technology Enhances the Fun in Learning

      Studies show that students prefer using technology because it makes things more interesting and fun to learn. The most commonly used forms of technology in schools are laptops and tablets of all kinds, including iPads.

      Using this technology can make a student’s least favorite subjects become more interesting to them by incorporating games, virtual lessons, videos, and other interactive teaching methods into their daily lessons. With a standard textbook, it is much more difficult to turn an otherwise boring subject into something that will capture students’ attention.

      While implementing these tools into a school or classroom can be quite pricey, there are programs in place with schools and manufacturers (for example, Apple) that allow schools with any budget to be able to afford the technology. Another major factor to consider is replacement or repair costs if the tablets get lost or damaged. That’s why finding a safe and efficient way to store tablets and laptops is critical to keeping costs down and reducing downtime for both students and teachers.

      2. Technology Better Prepares Students for the Future

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        Every day we learn about new technology that will revolutionize the ways we interact with the world around us. It is important that we prepare students to successfully engage in this new technological world. These

        These 21st-century skills are essential for success. For example, most jobs now include interactions with some level of technology. The concept of education is not just about memorizing facts or expanding vocabularies, it is also about learning skills that will prepare students to interact with the world and be successful in the workforce.

        Classrooms that focus on technology ensure that students are prepared to have a bright future in the rapidly growing digital economy.

        3. Technology Increases Retention Rates

          Students retain information better when using technology as a learning tool.

          For example, in one study, 18 second grade students were asked to complete a PowerPoint presentation about an animal of their choice. In the study 16 out of the 18 students remembered more facts about the animal in their project after the presentation than students who completed the project without using PowerPoint.

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          This study demonstrates how technology helps students to better retain what they learn.

          4. Technology Allows for Self-Paced Learning

           

            Students learn at different rates. However, it can be challenging for teachers to individualize lesson plans. It is much easier with technology.

            Almost all apps and programs allow for individualized instruction. This means students can focus on their specific needs and do it at their own pace. This also helps teachers focus their time on students who are struggling or may require more attention.

            This improves the classroom environment for everyone.

            5. Students Connect with Technology

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              Technology has become a way of life for students. Even when they are not in school almost everything they do is connected to technology in some way.

              This has predisposed students to be able to connect with technology in the classroom. It is much easier to connect with individualized lesson plans through technology than reading a textbook or listening to a long lecture.

              Students are also able to connect with the tools they need to be successful in the 21st century.

              Conclusion

               

                Technology changes extremely quickly. It is important that educators keep up with these changes to ensure students are prepared for our ever-changing world. Integrating technology into the classroom can enhance student learning.

                However, it is also important to remember that technology is not a complete replacement for traditional methods. Technology should be used to enrich the overall educational experience and improve student learning outcomes. This will allow the technology used to have a profound impact on student learning.

                Featured photo credit: pressfoto via freepik.com

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                Last Updated on October 29, 2018

                What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)

                What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)

                Brain fog is more of a symptom than a medical condition itself, but this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Brain fog is a cognitive dysfunction, which can lead to memory problems, lack of mental clarity and an inability to focus.

                Many often excuse brain fog for a bad day, or get so used to it that they ignore it. Unfortunately, when brain fog is ignored it ends up interfering with work and school. The reason many ignore it is because they aren’t fully aware of what causes it and how to deal with it.

                It’s important to remember that if your brain doesn’t function fully — nothing else in your life will. Most people have days where they can’t seem to concentrate or forget where they put their keys.

                It’s very normal to have days where you can’t think clearly, but if you’re experiencing these things on a daily basis, then you’re probably dealing with brain fog for a specific reason.

                So what causes brain fog? It can be caused by a string of things, so we’ve made a list things that causes brain fog and how to prevent it and how to stop it.

                1. Stress

                It’s no surprise that we’ll find stress at the top of the list. Most people are aware of the dangers of stress. It can increase blood pressure, trigger depression and make us sick as it weakens our immune system.

                Another symptom is mental fatigue. When you’re stressed your brain can’t function at its best. It gets harder to think and focus, which makes you stress even more.

                Stress can be prevented by following some simple steps. If you’re feeling stressed you should avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine — even though it may feel like it helps in the moment. Two other important steps are to indulge in more physical activities and to talk to someone about it.

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                Besides that, you can consider keeping a stress diary, try relaxation techniques like mediation, getting more sleep and maybe a new approach to time management.

                2. Diet

                Most people know that the right or wrong diet can make them gain or loss weight, but not enough people think about the big impact a specific diet can have on one’s health even if it might be healthy.

                One of the most common vitamin deficiencies is vitamin B12 deficiency and especially vegans can be get hid by brain fog, because their diet often lacks the vitamin B-12. The vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to mental and neurological disorders.

                The scary thing is that almost 40 % of adults are estimated to lack B12 in their diet. B12 is found in animal products, which is why many vegans are in B12 deficiency, but this doesn’t mean that people need animal products to prevent the B12 deficiency. B12 can be taken as a supplement, which will make the problem go away.

                Another vital vitamin that can cause brain fog is vitamin D. More than 1 billion people worldwide don’t have enough vitamin D in their diet. Alongside B12 and vitamin D is omega-3, which because of its fatty acids helps the brain function and concentrate. Luckily, both vitamin D and omega-3 can be taken as supplements.

                Then there’s of course also the obvious unhealthy foods like sugar. Refined carbohydrates like sugar will send your blood sugar levels up, and then send you right back down. This will lead to brain fog, because your brain uses glucose as its main source of fuel and once you start playing around with your brain — it gets confused.

                Besides being hit by brain fog, you’ll also experience tiredness, mood swings and mental confusion. So, if you want to have clear mind, then stay away from sugar.

                Sometimes the same type of diet can be right for some and wrong for others. If you’re experiencing brain fog it’s a good idea to seek out your doctor or a nutritionist. They can take some tests and help you figure out which type of diet works best for your health, or find out if you’re lacking something specific in your diet.

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                3. Allergies

                If you have food allergies, or are simply a bit sensitive to specific foods, then eating those foods can lead to brain fog. Look out for dairy, peanuts and aspartame that are known to have a bad effect on the brain.

                Most people get their calories from corn, soy and wheat — and big surprise — these foods are some of the most common foods people are allergic to. If you’re in doubt, then you can look up food allergies[1] and find some of the most common symptoms.

                If you’re unsure about being allergic or sensitive, then you can start out by cutting out a specific food from your diet for a week or two. If the brain fog disappears, then you’re most likely allergic or sensitive to this food. The symptoms will usually go away after a week or two once you remove the trigger food from the diet.

                If you still unsure, then you should seek out the help of your doctor.

                4. Lack of sleep

                All of us know we need sleep to function, but it’s different for everybody how much sleep they need. A few people can actually function on as little as 3-4 hours of sleep every night, but these people are very, very rare.

                Most people need 8 to 9 hours of sleep. If you don’t get the sleep you need, then this will interfere with your brain and you may experience brain fog.

                Instead of skipping a few hours of sleep to get ahead of things you need to do, you’ll end up taking away productive hours from your day, because you won’t be able to concentrate and your thoughts will be cloudy.

                Many people have trouble sleeping but you can help improve your sleep by a following a few simple steps.

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                There is the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise, which is a technique that regulates your breath and helps you fall asleep faster. Another well-known technique is to avoid bright lights before you go to sleep.

                A lot of us are guilty of falling asleep with the TV on or with our phone right by us, but the blue lights from these screens suppresses the production of melatonin in our bodies, which actually makes us stay awake longer instead. If you’re having trouble going to sleep without doing something before you close your eyes, then try taking up reading instead.

                If you want to feel more energized throughout the day, start doing this.

                5. Hormonal changes

                Brain fog can be triggered by hormonal changes. Whenever your levels of progesterone and estrogen increases, you may experience short-term cognitive impairment and your memory can get bad.

                If you’re pregnant or going through menopause, then you shouldn’t worry too much if your mind suddenly starts to get a bit cloudy. Focus on keeping a good diet, getting enough of sleep and the brain fog should pass once you’re back to normal.

                6. Medication

                If you’re on some medication, then it’s very normal to start experiencing some brain fog.

                You may start to forget things that you used to be able to remember, or you get easily confused. Maybe you can’t concentrate the same way that you used to. All of these things can be very scary, but you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

                Brain fog is a very normal side effect of drugs, but by lowering your dosage or switching over to another drug; the side effect can’t often be improved and maybe even completely removed.

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                7. Medical condition

                Brain fog can often be a symptom of a medical condition. Medical conditions that include inflammation, fatigue, changes in blood glucose level are known to cause brain fog.

                Conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anemia, depression, diabetes, migraines, hypothyroidism, Sjögren syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Lupus and dehydration can all cause brain fog.[2]

                The bottom line

                If you haven’t been diagnosed, then never start browsing around Google for the conditions and the symptoms. Once you start looking for it; it’s very easy to (wrongfully) self-diagnose.

                Take a step back, put away the laptop and relax. If you’re worried about being sick, then always check in with your doctor and take it from there.

                Remember, the list of things that can cause brain fog is long and it can be something as simple as the wrong diet or not enough sleep.

                Featured photo credit: Asdrubal luna via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1]Food Allergy: Common Allergens
                [2]HealthLine: 6 Possible Causes of Brain Fog

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