Teachers don't have time for complicated. They need ways of teaching that is simple to put together, yet effective and simple to learn from. That is what makes using word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations a perfect option for busy teachers. This is what Roblyer (2016) refers to as the "basic suite".
Most everyone these days will recognize at least one of these tools. Teachers probably would find it difficult to teach without using a presentation tool at least once through the day, and a student experiences word processing programs almost immediately in elementary schools now. This is because it is simple, effective, and available to most everyone. Robyler states, "Perhaps no other technology resource has had as great an impact on education as word processing." There are numerous advantages related to presentation and alignment, spell check, revision history, and graphic insertion. These make teaching and learning quickly effective and engaging. It is also stated that, "A teacher can use it to support any directed instruction or constructivist activity." This makes it flexible, and highly valuable. As students are introduced to this technology, and gain confidence through practice, they are becoming technologically prepared to excel in the current, modern society and job force.
Spreadsheets are used throughout the education world from creating and managing budgets to organizing a gradebook. They are a major time-saver. They help answer questions regarding numbers and data, graphs, and statistics. When students begin asking questions and exploring with information, they can learn to effectively navigate spreadsheet software to gain deeper understandings.
Presentations are a powerful tool that has proved its effectiveness in a variety of ways for many years and generations of teaching. As the teacher/learner relationship evolves, so does the power of presentations and different delivery techniques. It is most effective if used in the correct way that aligns with appropriate pedagogical practices. When there are a limited amount of words and bullets, engaging pictures or videos, lending itself to a variety of learning styles, interactive components, and slides are created with a high degree of visual appeal, a presentation can be extremely powerful. However, the best way they can be used is when the creative power is given to the student to show learning. Robyler (2016) states, "Having learners become the designers and experts of content, in the end presenting their work to the class, can serve as a powerful technology integration lesson for any domain of learning."
The focus on these tools has led to the creation of many practical apps for teachers and students to use. Things just keep getting better and better. I have loved exploring the various apps associated with Google such as Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Classroom. Students have the ability to create, collaborate, and engage with their learning like never before. As the teacher, I can see their revision history and know exactly what has really been or not been done. I can leave a comment on their work, and so can their peers. I can give more immediate feedback during their learning process which is a valuable tool for students when focusing on improvement. There can never be a lost paper, or something left at home, or any dogs eating their homework. I can't imagine teaching without the basic suite of technological tools, and I love learning how to more effectively use them.
Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. [Kindle Edition]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.