Technology in schools?

 

The education system today, mainly K-12, has many problems. Many schools are facing the same problem, should we use technology in schools? How will technology affect the students? Is it beneficial or harmful? I believe that technology should be allowed in schools because it not only enhances students learning experiences, but also gives them a chance to familiarize themselves with technology. In this post, I will go over the advantages and disadvantages of technology and what steps we could take to better implement technology in schools. Technology is rapidly evolving and it is important for schools to adopt the use of technology as it will not only benefit the students, but also the schools.

Over these past few years, schools have started to replace textbooks with tablets. In 2014, a third of the U.S. students had access to mobile devices for schoolwork. Tablets will provide students access to information they might not have when they are just given a textbook. Not only that, tablets are versatile, light, and easy to use which in turn makes students want to learn more. In this article, Sig Behrens, president of Blackboard Inc, talks about how the lack/limiting use of technology is harming students, “they are often forced to ‘power down’ when they enter the classroom. Instead of leveraging the mobile and social Web to fuel exploration and discovery, education is often still an analog, one-way activity: The instructor delivers information, students have to learn it.” Behrens is saying that students are not allowed technology in a classroom setting, thus limiting their learning experience because students use technology on a daily basis, and for it to be taken away as soon as they enter a classroom is wrong.

There are many more benefits when it comes to technology in schools. Such as making teaching for teachers easier, preparing students to venture on into the real world where it’s heavily reliant on technology, and most importantly making a more enjoyable environment for students. Some might argue that having technology, specifically mobile devices such as laptops and tablets, will distract students from learning. Students are in a controlled environment, the tablets and laptops given to them have set limitations; they can’t go on certain sites or download games. Another might argue that why should we even have technology in schools if it doesn’t improve student’s grades. Even if students are not improving, they are gaining a valuable resource that they otherwise would not have, which is experience in deal with technology. In this paper, Cher Ping Lim argue that just adding technology to schools isn’t going to make it better. You need to change the whole educational system if you want to see results.   

Now that we are on the topic of changing the system, we can now go into what steps should be taken in order for technology to be effective. The main component for technology to be effective is that the teachers need to know how to use it. Lim argues, “the way technology is used by teachers and students will make a difference.” Showing that in order for technology to show its results, both teachers and students will need to be taught how to use it effectively. In the end, it’s not what we use that defines us, it is how we use it.

                                                                  Works Cited

Behrens, Sig. “The Education-Technology Revolution Is Coming.” US NEWS. N.p., 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.

Lim, Cher Ping, Yong Zhao, Jo Tondeur, Ching Sing Chai, and Chin-Chung Tsai. “Bridging the Gap: Technology Trends and Use of Technology in Schools.” JSTOR. International Forum of Educational Technology & Society, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.

 

Nagel, David. “THE News Update.” One-Third of U.S. Students Use School-Issued Mobile Devices. Ed Tech Research, 08 Apr. 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.

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Rhetorical Analysis pt.2

Have you ever wondered what happens if technology was restricted in schools? Well Sig Behrens wrote an article just about this. In this article, Behrens goes through the positives of technology and how it created a new type of learner, “the active learner– who is using technology to drive change in ways that we haven’t seen before.” It seems that Behrens wrote this article because he wants to inform people about the current educational system right now and how it’s limiting students. Not to mention that he is the president of Blackboard Inc, a company that dedicates its time to create and help students learn topics in a different ways other than those being taught in schools. He wants to persuade his audience to re-evaluate the impact technology has on students, but also noting that technology itself is not a key to all problems.

At the beginning of that article, Behrens tries to capture the reader’s attention by writing, “Facebook will replace classroom instruction.” Behrens’ claim is that active learners move fast, and if schools want to keep up with them changes need to be made to accommodate for that. Throughout the article Behrens uses logos to show the connection between active learners and schools. He uses Borders as an example to how it continually failed to meet the consumer’s demands and Amazon eventually had to let go of Borders. Behrens says, “While they struggled to adapt, Amazon established an open platform that gave users more control, letting readers buy and share and discover on their own terms,” which eventually lead to Amazon creating their own “library” known as the kindle. Behrens uses this comparison, active learners being the consumer and schools being the company/institution, because most people are familiar with Amazon and knows how successful it is. He is using schools as a business, and to keep the consumers (active learners) happy there needs to be adjustments made to the educational system.

Behrens makes an appeal to ethos too. Whenever he supports his claim, he does so with hyperlinks so readers could dive deeper into the topic if they choose so. Before the article begins, there is also a direct mention that he is the president of Blackboard Inc. I’m pretty sure his target audience would know what Blackboard Inc is, but for those who don’t a simple google search would do the trick. Finally, when Behrens also touches on the fact that, “technology is no silver bullet” and cannot replace good teaching shows that he is prepared for counterarguments, so he addresses that concern first which adds to his credibility.

Behrens’ diction is very simple and to the point which shows that his target audience is for those who want to change the education system but don’t know where to begin. He also uses simple examples so he could better connect with his readers. Overall, Behrens’ use of logos and ethos was effective as it not only capture the reader’s attention but also kept his claim simple and easy to understand. Although I would’ve liked to see more of an appeal to pathos, as I think that it’s one of the most effective out of the three. In my future posts, I will keep in mind Behrens’ uses of simple and relatable examples to connect with the readers.

 

Works Cited  

Behrens, Sig. “The Education-Technology Revolution Is Coming.” US NEWS. N.p., 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.

Rhetorical Analysis pt.1

Have you ever wondered how helpful technology actually is? In the paper, “Bridging the Gap: Technology Trends and Use of Technology in Schools”, by Cher Ping Lim, Yong Zhao, Jo Tondeur, Ching Sing Chai, and Chin-Chung Tsai discuss the gap between technology trends and the uses of technology in schools. The authors wrote this paper with the intention to inform people about how technology is affecting businesses and schools. They say technology itself is not what makes everything better, it is what the businesses and the people working there do to accommodate for technology. The authors say that their aim for the paper is “not on the use of technology per se, but rather on how technology may serve as a foundation and mediator for the transformation of practices in schools” (60). The paper is broken up into small sections where each section serves as a connection to the next. The authors start off with analyzing technology in our daily lives, whether it be work or play, and then moves on to how it connects with schools and finally ends with how we could connect the gap between technology and schools.

Throughout the paper, there is not much ethos besides at the beginning where there is a brief bio of all the authors, which is the only source of credibility given to the readers other than than the diction being used. The author’s diction, shown in the quote of the previous paragraph, that they are well educated. With this, we can see that the authors’ target audience are those who are educated and already researching about technology in schools.

The use of pathos is almost non-existent, but there is tons of logos throughout the paper. The main thing the authors do really well is defining their “basis” before continuing any further. For example, before beginning the whole argument of the paper, they define what modern technology is and relates it back to schools. This is something I plan on doing in my upcoming blog posts because when you define your basis or terms before getting into your argument there will be less of a chance to cause confusion. Another thing I saw throughout the paper was that the authors would present an argument against their claim and then immediately follow up with a counterargument of their own with credible sources. The authors said, “Studies have shown the ability of technology in improving productivity, saving costs…” in one paragraph and in the next paragraph we see them attacking these studies. They say that the studies don’t mention how companies change their business style to accommodate for the changes (technology). The main claim of this paper is technology is not a problem solver by itself, you need other factors for it to work well.

This source covers use of technology in businesses and then uses the relationship to go into the educational system. Since my question is, “Should technology be used in schools?” I think that this source would help me analyze schools and their use of technology  more in depth. This paper makes a valid point that you can’t just implement technology in schools without changing the way the school runs. I plan on going off of that in my future blog posts.

 

Works Cited
Lim, Cher Ping, Yong Zhao, Jo Tondeur, Ching Sing Chai, and Chin-Chung Tsai. “Bridging the Gap: Technology Trends and Use of Technology in Schools.” JSTOR. International Forum of Educational Technology & Society, n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.

Digging Deeper

It’s 2016, when we talk about technology used in schools or “classroom technologies” we usually turn to the usual suspects: computers, projectors, calculator, etc. Depending on how you would define “technology” there are many other types, such as the old fashion chalk board to an ipad. Classroom technology has been constantly being created and evolving during the late 19th century and throughout most of the 20th and 21st century. Most of the things we wouldn’t even consider technology now helped reinvent the way students were taught and were aimed to enhance their learning experiences. Materials we readily have in our hands such as a pencil and a piece of paper replaced writing slates, which looks like a smaller version of a chalk board. Fast forward to today, the 21st century, we still have chalk boards but we also have computers, tablets, TVs, and projectors in a classroom to enhance student’s learning experience. So the question is, should technology be used in schools to enhance learning experience; is it beneficial or harmful?

Deciding whether technology should be used in schools to aid/enhance student’s learning experience can fit into all of the four categories:

Facts: we can determine if there are already technologies used in schools, which there obviously is. And then assess how it has affected the school and its students, such as is technology affecting them negatively or positively?

Definition: the main thing to focus on is what defines “technology”, more specifically, what is “classroom technology”? What does the words “beneficial” and “harmful” entail? With this defined, we can move on to determining how beneficial or harmful technologies are in schools.

Quality: just as important as definition. For quality, we would need to figure out whether or not technology is beneficial or harmful for students. For example, a question asked might be, “Is it better to have a textbook or a tablet?”  Is it right to have schools not advance because some students are not benefiting from technology?

Policy: we could look into how technology would affect students in the long run; are they going to be reliant on technology? If technology is indeed harmful for students, how do we solve this problem? What if we ban technology in schools, how will this affect them?

 

There are two stasis types I want to focus on, the first being definition and the second being quality. I think that both of these go hand in hand. In order to do research on quality, we first have to define what we mean by technology. Everyone has a different definition for it, and by establishing the basis (like I mention in one of my blog posts), we can then come to an understanding and move on to questions relating to quality. These questions are important to discuss in order to find an answer to whether technologies used in schools are aiding the student’s learning abilities or not. This topic is important in general, considering that we are in school right now, and we should have some knowledge on how technology is affecting us, whether good or bad. And maybe sometime in the future when you have children, you would want to know how technology has run its course in the education system. We have been talking about creating a better educational system for years now, and it’s important to discuss about technology if we want to establish a better educational system.

 

Works Cited

Dunn, Jeff. “The Evolution of Classroom Technology.” The Evolution of Classroom Technology. N.p., 18 Apr. 2011. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.

“Slate (writing).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.