The Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom
Using technology in the classroom is one of those issues that makes it easy to be a fence sitter. It’s difficult to be 100% for the use of educational technology all of the time, when there are so many convincing arguments against it. Most teachers find a happy medium with technology—it’s useful in some situations, but a distraction in others.
There is a great article on Huffington post that offers an example of a kindergarten classroom in America, where young learners use technology naturally and in an authentic manner. The article also goes on to discuss the problems many parents have with technology use by young children, such as excessive screen time, which can lead to poor sleep habits. In addition, doctors worry that children who use devices at a very young age become more focused on learning to select and swipe than on developmental processes, like handwriting and shoe-tying.
Technology gives children the ability to learn in ways their parents and grandparents never had. Today’s learners have immediate access to answers and research. Yet, that immediate access is changing the way students think about work and how they feel emotionally. We’ve put together a list of some the pros and cons that surround the technology in the classroom debate.
Data and analytic reporting:
Various software and platforms offer teachers ways to combine all the information they might need to know about a student—title, status, attendance history, performance on quizzes, English language proficiency, participation in special education. With this information, teachers can easily see how their students are preforming as a whole and as individuals, and can provide intervention as needed. Our software includes easy to use reporting features, so that assessment data can also be shared with administrators and parents.
Just in time information:
Just in time learning is helping cooperate workers learn what they need to in order to solve immediate problems, rather than siting through entire classes full of information they may not ever use. The same goes for classroom learning. Edtech is allowing teachers to see where students may be missing particular pieces of understanding and to then target lessons just for that knowledge. Instead of sitting through hour-long classes of material they’ve mostly mastered, technology is allowing students to learn what they need, when then need it.
Different learning modalities:
Incorporating technology into the classroom means that students have exposure and access to different ways of learning. Maybe some students do thrive in a lecture environment; others might be great independent learners, who can gather information from educational software. Giving students the choice of different ways to learn means they’ll likely explore and try different techniques, and in the end, learn the best strategies for themselves as individual learners.
Assistive tech for special needs:
Educational technology makes it possible for students with special needs to thrive in academic settings. From adaptive word processor apps to programs that speak for children who struggle with language, technology allows students to communicate and be involved with their teachers and classmates.
Many tech enthusiasts roll their eyes when people voice their concerns that educational technology is a way to replace teachers in the future. But do their concerns lack validity? You don’t have to look too far in the past to find instances of technology replacing workers: the auto industry, agriculture, and manufacturing industries have all mechanised many parts of their process, laying off workers in the process. While few people think that teachers will become obsolete, the newest advances in EdTech involve interaction from both the teacher and the students, for it to be effective.
This is probably the number one worry of teachers who consider implementing classroom technology: the concern that students will be too busy tweeting and Snapchatting to pay attention to the lesson. Students’ innate curiosity, coupled with being tech savvy, could lead to more online socialising in environments where devices are easily accessible. Keep them interested and engaged and the technology surrounding this will fall in to place.
Disparity of access outside of class:
Not all of our students have access to technology tools outside of the classroom. Assigning technology use in the classroom is fine if all students have access to the device. But when EdTech programs are considered for homework or at home intervention, student access to the Internet must be considered.
Although many assume there is no right or wrong answer to this debate, we highly believe technology and its benefits outweigh the negatives strattera online canada. Educational technology has its plusses and minuses. It’s up to teachers, administrators and educational staff to utilise the technology out there today, to their advantage. We’d love to hear where you stand on these issues.
Why not take a look at our other blogs; Increasing the use of technology within the classroom and Addressing Ed Tech concerns.
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