The increasing use of technology within the classroom
In today’s global technological jungle, survival depends vastly on the ability to use IT in new and innovative ways. Throughout time, and as technology continuously evolves, so do the ways in which teachers teach in their classrooms. Technology offers many different ways to teach and to share information with students whilst continuing to play a large role in many aspects of day-to-day life.
Students today can retrieve all types of information at a much faster rate than ever before. With mobile phones, you can Google or search for anything and find multiple reliable sources of information within seconds. Mobile phones and tablets are helpful in keeping students updated on events and activities that are going on in the real world. Simply opening an app can keep you up to date with politics, sports and current events. The instantaneous information enables students to be more educated and informed than ever before, with the immediate accessibility changing the way in which we process information and make decisions.
Taking technology further into the classroom, using a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) changes the relationship that a student has with their course of study. It provides a set of components in which students’ and tutors are able to participate in ‘online’ interactions of various kinds, demonstrating an easily available, yet rudimentary, measure of student learning activity useful link. This positive learning climate thereby allows students to benefit from flexibility and access to a wider range of resources and ‘anytime, any place, anywhere, just in time’ state of learning.
Technology brings with it, new opportunities and challenges for both teachers and students. Social networking is a great example of technology that can help education, depending on how it is used and integrated into teaching plans. Social networking as part of the learning process can help students who are perhaps more reserved, to open up and connect with faculty and other students when they are communicating through social networking sites, allowing them the opportunity to collaborate and work together in a whole new way.
Younger children are becoming more exposed to technology today than ever before. Technology is hugely motivating for children, whether it be a tablet or a camera in the classroom, these devices will grab the attention of young students. Online books and educational apps including various games and activities are used frequently by teachers to help children to practice their skills independently throughout their early years.
So whether it is a secondary school student studying for their A levels or a first school student learning to read - technology is now an integral part of the education process.
However, the on-going question that continues to prevail; does this expansion of technology through the prevalence of apps, smartphones and software development, really have any educational value in the classroom? Or is it more of a distraction to both the teachers and their students?
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