Is use of technology necessary in classrooms?
**The Edvocate is pleased to publish guest posts as way to fuel important conversations surrounding P-20 education in America. The opinions contained within guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of The Edvocate or Dr. Matthew Lynch.**
A guest column by Lucy Brown
There has been a dramatic change in the use of technologies in the last few decades and particularly in classrooms. Schools have had to invest heavily in the purchase of hardwares and softwares; set up internet access and train teachers to use technology. This has made the young people in education to be enthusiastic about technology and made them grow to use it more often. Some of them lack the extensive knowledge use of the technology they are embracing. Use of technology in the classroom is very important, though at times, opportunities to harness children’s skills and enthusiasm to improve learning in school are sometimes missed out.
Technology continues to be increasingly adopted and used by all educational institutions across the world, but examples of cutting edge technology being harnessed to transform teaching and learning remains the exception rather than the rule (Becta, 2009)
Effective use of technology is central to achieving the goals set out in schools. This is because, with technology, the learners are assured of enhanced teaching and learning activities; technology improves efficiency of systems and processes within the school and it also reduces the administrative burden on teachers. With it comes the advancement and exploration of future ways of working.
Students get an opportunity to learn beyond the confines of the school timetables and school gates when they incorporate technology in their learning system. It is very fundamental to students because it makes them to search for innovative ways of incorporating new technologies and the teachers get an opportunity to use them to advance the curriculum to suit its relevancy in the 21st century. With it, an already successful school will improve further. It is a tool for students to take control of their learning.
Technology is important in education in the classroom as it forces us to reconsider how people learn, how they are empowered and what type of learning and useful information is. Technology is forcing educators to re-evaluate the very nature of what and how we teach and it is impossible to without them in schools.
With use of technology in classes, computer can serve as a tutor. This lessens the burden of teachers in the class, as they are just left with the role of guiding the students as they learn from the computer. It can also help with students who are slow learners; this is through the computer tutorials being repeated until the students who are falling out grasps what is being taught. This is the main advantage of technology in classrooms; teachers don’t have that time to repeat lessons over and over again.
Technology is really helping in fighting illiteracy in the world. A story is told of an American, Annaben Thomas (Bennett, 1999). She was unable to read even after several years in high school at a New York City school. She eventually enrolled herself in a computer program that taught her how to read and write. This was her last resort after she had tried everything humanly possible to learn to read and write to no avail. Her success story was published in an article “Computers as Tutors’ by Bennett.
But some critics view technology in the negative. They think that, with computers in the classrooms, students will be transformed into less fools. Boyle (1998. P.618) argues that information technology may actually be making us stupid. Some people who grew up in the pre-technology era also argue that the use of technology will take the emotion and heart out of the classroom (Wehrle, 1998).
Education serves as a window through which our imagination and curiosity can take flight into the unknown and enhance our creativity, and the use of technology in education plays a vital role in helping students to achieve their full development potential. Given the role of education in shaping students for the outside world, there should be a connection between the world and education, and that can only be achieved by incorporating technology in the classroom.
The advantages of having computers in classrooms outweigh the disadvantages. Technology is a positive supplement to bridge the gap between education and the technological world in which we live. Technology is setting a pace in students to jump start with marketable job skills.
Warger, Cynthia L. Technology In Today’s Schools. [Alexandria, VA]: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1990. Print.
This post is brought to you by Lucy Brown from Auvisa.org. Auvisa.org is an Australian visa agency, founded in 2011 by migration lawyers. Lucy has 11 years of teaching experience in chemistry before joined Auvisa.org.