Today’s learners are digital learners; therefore, using technology in the classroom is necessary to aid in the development of the Universal Design framework that engages and enhances the learning experience for all learners.
In order to meet the needs of all learners, Lopes-Murphy (2012) states that it is critical to not only consider multiple options for students to express their understanding, but to also utilize multiple means of engagement that “takes into consideration students’ interest and needs and instructional sensitivity to the diverse learning styles of students and their cultural background.” Therefore, teachers and students need the diverse resources that technology tools provide, and because new technologies are always developing, it is imperative that teachers identify these technologies to continually prepare their students beyond the classroom environment.
In addition, technology must be integrated into the curriculum because of emerging trends in education. Roblyer and Doering (2013) list trends in tools and applications as “flexible learning environments, adaptable assessment options, emphasis on communication and collaboration, increased reliance on learning at a distance and increased educational options for students with disabilities.” Technology allows the educator and the learner to transform resources that adapt to emerging educational trends.
Finally, according to the article, Redefining Rigor: Critical Engagement, Digital Media, and the New English/Language Arts (Dockter, Haug, & Lewis, 2010), when students utilize technology tools to create their own content, they not only build their own understanding of the concept, but they are also encouraged to collaborate, and they are challenged to critically and creatively analyze. In addition, students are motivated to produce media, which includes an authentic audience of their peers who view and critique their projects.
As a result, students who are able to express their learning using digital resources are intellectually challenged, consequently making the learning process meaningful, engaging and fun. When learners master concepts, they become authentic learners, and their success results in a mutual respect for their peers, school, and community.
Dockter, J., Haug, D., & Lewis, C. (2010). Redefining Rigor: Critical Engagement, Digital Media, and the New English/Language Arts. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(5), 418–420.
Lopes-Murphy, S. (2012). Universal Design for Learning: Preparing Secondary Education Teachers in Training to Increase Academic Accessibility of High School English Learners. Clearing House: A Journal ofEducational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 85(6), 226–230.
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.