Technology has always been evolving throughout the years, especially in education. Although we are still using chalk boards now, there are less of them compared to dry eraser boards. Now we have computers, projectors, and tablets in school which serves to reinvent the way students are being taught. Some believe that technology does not improve student’s overall abilities in schools, therefore technology should not be allowed it schools. So should technology be used in schools? Yes, technology should be used in schools because it gives students a different experience compared to the old way of teaching, i.e textbooks and busy work. Technology should be used in a way that allows students to gain new opportunities, such as a different way of learning, and experiences that they were not given before.
This is the 21st century, and with technology playing a huge role in our daily lives there is no reason why technology should not be implemented in all schools. The world we live in today is surround with technology, and children need to learn how to adapt and grow with these new technology. What’s better than having them gain experience while they are in school? Aside from students gaining valuable experience, schools and teachers also benefit from technology. According to this article, 92 percent of teachers said that technology, mainly the internet, had a huge role in changing their daily plans for students. Internet access allowed teachers to gather information more easily and have access to more resources and materials aside from the information given by textbooks. In an article by Jeana Lee Tahnk, a “tech mom”, goes over a few reason as to why technology is important to our current education system. Tahnk says technology not only allows information to be limitless, but also give teachers more freedom and for students to experience a different way of learning.
Classroom technology is not the only thing that has changed the way students are being taught. Online lectures have also played a huge role. In “How Technology Enhances Teaching and Learning”, Ellen M. Granberg discusses the major impact technology has had on students through online lecture/classes. Granberg starts off by talking about guest lecturers, but what makes these guest lecturers special are that they far from the school. Meaning that students are learning from someone who is far away through a screen. Granberg says, “this is an example of one of the creative ways faculty members… are using technology to enhance their students’ learning.” Without technology, the guest lectures may have to fly out just to give a lecture or the students might not even have a chance to experience a highly regarded professor. Granberg also provides a couple more examples as to why technology enhances student’s learning experience. She refers to Tomarken, a professor who teaches advanced statistics and methods, “incorporating computers into class discussion can also make extremely difficult courses much easier for students to grasp.” This is much needed to today’s school because most students need see an example for them to understand. Instead of sending the students home and letting them try to problem solve, Tomarken takes advantage of technology and make the students follow him as he goes through the problem and if any question arises, he can address it immediately.
Technology does not only benefit existing students, but also those with disabilities. This article by Kristin Stanberry and Marshall H. Raskind goes over what assistive technology (AT) is. It’s technology for students with learning disabilities. These type of technology seek to, “…bypass, work around or compensate for an individual’s specific learning deficits.” Traditional teaching methods do not work for students with learning disabilities. Teachers often give the same instructions to every student, but every student is different. AT allow teachers to customize individual student’s lesson to bring out the best of their abilities. AT comes in many varieties, there are some for students who have problems with listening, math, and many more. An example of this would be a student that is blind, and they are able to listen to the audible version of the book. Technology is not just for enhancing student’s learning experience, but also serve as aid for students with disabilities.
One might argue that technology only serves as a distraction for students and does not improve the student’s performance. This is true to some extent. But we have to remember that the way we were previously using technology is the wrong approach. We can’t just hand a piece of technology, like a tablet, and expect the student to know what to do with it. It has to be regulated. And with regulations, there will be less distraction with the use of technology. Let’s say that doesn’t work and students are not improving. The students are still gaining something out of this, and it is experience with technology. Another might argue that technology is not a golden key that solves all problems. I don’t disagree, technology itself is not going to help students improve. In this paper, Cher Ping Lim argues that just adding technology to schools isn’t going to make it significantly better. Changes need to be made to the whole educational system if you want to see results.
Here are some ways we are currently using technology wrong. We should not being using technology to keep a student occupied. It’s like busy work, they learn nothing. Technology should not be used for things that students could do without it. This article mentions drawings as an example.
Now that we have gone over the positives and negatives of technology, we can now move onto what steps we can take to implement/improve on the technology in schools. Lim says that all schools are different, so there is not a definitive solution for all schools. But there is one thing that all schools can do to implement technology effectively, and that is to teach teachers how to use technology in a way that is not only easy, but is also beneficial for the students. Lim mentions that schools change often, “the school context gradually evolves, changing the characteristics of teachers, students, and their technology uses, which further changes the challenges the school faces at different stages” (Lim 62-63). Meaning that if a school’s policy changes, there will also need to be changes made to the use of technology in that school. And the opposite is true too, if technology changes, then the school will need to change with it in order for it to work well.
When schools have already taken a step to implement technology, they should be aware that they have to continue to monitor it. To keep the use of technology effective, Lim says, “…new policies need to be made…more appropriate help needs to be provided to both teachers and student… while all these changes depend on strong leadership” (Lim 63). In a sense, it’s like a sword. When you get it you need to take good care of it in order for it to stay sharp. For technology it’s the same thing, you have to constantly keep up to date with it so there will not be problems down the line for students.
Technology should be used in schools because it not only enhances student’s learning experience, but also creates an environment where they can prepare for real world filled with new technology. In order for this to be possible, people first have to accept that technology does play a huge role in the education system and without it, schools would have a more difficult time adapting to the student’s needs. Next, teachers and students need to be taught how to use technology so there wouldn’t be any miscommunication. Finally, schools need to be up to date with technology. This entails changing schools policies for technology and vis versa. Remember, technology itself cannot solve all problems. In the end, it’s not what we use that defines us, it is how we use it.
Granberg, Ellen M. “Center for Teaching.” Center for Teaching. N.p., 2000. Web. 01 May 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. 01 May. 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.
Purcell, Kristen, Alan Heaps, Judy Buchanan, and Linda Friedrich. “How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and in Their Classrooms.” Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. N.p., 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 01 May 2016.
Stanberry, Kristin, and Marshall H. Raskind. “Assistive Technology for Kids with Learning Disabilities: An Overview.” Readingrockets.org. N.p., 2009. Web. 01 May 2016.
Tahnk, Jeana Lee. “Why We Need To Embrace Technology In The Classroom Right Now.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 10 Oct. 2014. Web. 01 May 2016.
Zorigian, Kris, and Jennifer Job. “How Do Special Education Students Benefit from Technology?” How Do Special Education Students Benefit from Technology? N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2016.