Good old days, when I was young. Computers were big and slow, and mobile phone was just a dream of some innovators and future billionaires. We wrote on paper and read from one, and it was much easier to keep attention in the classroom, simply because we didn’t have the distractions of 21st century, such as a smartphone always vibrating in your pocket.
Yet we cannot turn back the clock, and being nostalgic won’t help you in your job interview. Technology is here to stay. It will only evolve going forward, forming an integral part of a teaching process. Saying that you are against technology, or do not even own a mobile phone (yes, I know a few such people, but they are complete outsiders) won’t land you a teaching job, unless you deal extremely well with other teacher interview questions.
On the contrary, you should embrace technology, or at least accept it, and make sure that both you and your pupils benefit from it in the classroom. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. Do not forget to read also my notes below the list of answers, to make sure you avoid some common mistakes people make while facing this particular question.
7 sample answers to “How do you use technology in the classroom” interview question
- I use technology to achieve two goals. First one is improving the engagement of the students. I try to have some variety in my teaching. Including an interesting documentary in the lesson, or letting children play an interactive Math game, which actually helps them to learn the subject, is much more effective nowadays, as several scientific studies have shown. My second goal is saving time. If we check the attendance electronically, for example, or distribute the homework to all students with a simple click of a button, we can spend more time doing productive work, such as explaining the lesson, or working one on one with some students. Sure, nothing is black and white, and using technology has some drawbacks. But I try to focus on the positives, since technology is here to stay and teachers will use it only more in the years to come.
- Being in my early fifties, I must admit that I still struggle a bit with computers. It requires some humility to admit that a fourteen years old child works three times faster with their computer than I do with mine. But I do what I can. I take evening lessons, and try to improve on my skills to be able to benefit fully from the technology. And I can definitely see some progress. Having said that, I believe that I can achieve my goals and follow the lesson plans also without computers in the classroom. I’ve been teaching for thirty years. Did well without computers, achieved good results with my students. Sure, technology can help, but I do not see it as a big minus that I do not use it as often as some other teachers do.
- Speaking honestly, I try to minimize the use of technology in my classes. Not that I do not see the benefits, or cannot use computers. The thing is just that children spend way too much time looking at the screen. Once back from school, many of them do nothing else than watching TV, or playing games on their tablet. And they do the same during breaks at school. Hence I believe that we should try to limit the screen time at school to bare minimum. At least that’s my personal philosophy. However, I do not struggle with computers, and if you want me to use one in a lesson it is not a problem, and I can do it with efficiency.
- This is my first job application, and I do not have any real experience with using technology in the classroom. But I understand that we cannot ignore the evolution. Once out of school, children cannot do without computers. In almost every single job you have to use a computer, or at least a smartphone. Hence it is good if we have computers here, especially for underprivileged children, and they can learn to work with them. I definitely plan to use computer, projector, and other devices while trying to make the learning process interesting for the children. But whether they should be allowed to use technology during the lessons is another question…
- In my opinion, we have to set strict rules when it comes to technology. If we allow children to use their smartphones and computers in the classroom without limitations, it can and will backfire. Sure, it is easier to make notes on a computer, for example, to write things down. Or to show them a short video illustrating the subject of the lesson. As they often say, one picture is worth a thousand words. In order to benefit from technology, however, we have to have strict rules in place. We have to make sure that children watch on their screens only what they are supposed to watch on them.
- I am a bit old-school, and prefer to avoid technology in my classes. At the end of the day, this is an elementary school. Children should learn to read, write, do math–and they should not do it with a calculator on their smartphone. Once they get older, they won’t be able to avoid working with technology–even if they wanted to. But at six or seven or eight years old, we should make sure that they get some dexterity to their fingers, and develop cognitive skills. We do not want them to be completely dependent on the devices in their pockets, do we?
- I’ve been using most advanced technology in my classes for a couple of years already. For example applications for collecting students’ feedback, or applications measuring the attention span of each child. Technology allows us to do such things, and implementing it in the classroom helps us to understand the effectiveness of our teaching, and whether we should make any changes to our teaching methods or classroom management strategies. I am a big supporter of technology, and if you hire me as a teacher, I can definitely help you with application of these concepts in all classrooms.
You should always justify your use (or no use) of technology in the classroom
As you can certainly notice from the variety of sample answers to this interview question, one fit all approach does not really exist here. Some teachers rely on technology in their classrooms, and some do not use it at all. Yet both groups can achieve exceptional results with their students.
And that’s exactly the point. Regardless of whether you love or hate technology, as long as you explain your reasoning, the hiring committee with be satisfied with your answer. Or at least an interesting discussion will start, should they have an opposite opinion.
If you support a heavy use of technology in the classroom, explain how it helps with engagement, learning, assessing student’s progress, saving time, and so on. And if you are against it, tell us how learning without technology is better for developing cognitive skills, how it is easier to maintain discipline in the classroom, or simply more natural for human beings, who spend excessive time in front of a screen anyway, which does not help their physical and mental health in any means…
Good research can help you with your answer
Some schools leave their teachers more freedom, and some have certain rules in place for everyone. Do your research. Talk to some teachers from the school. Check the website of the educational institution. Interview one of the students.
Try to find out some information about their use of technology in the classes. Once you know the direction the administrators set for the school as a whole, it will be easier for you to come up with an answer that at least somehow resonates with the philosophy and values of your future place of work.
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also sample answers to other tricky interview questions for teachers:
- Why do you want to work with children?
- Can you tell us something about yourself?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher?