Students using technology in the classroom (Stock Image)
Please watch the following video on link (Edutopia, 2016):
Questions for considerations:
In what ways has technology enhanced your ability to learn and plan lessons?
In what ways has tecnonlogy enhanced your classroom?
In what ways can technology be an issue in the classroom?
How can educators maxminize the potential of technology while reducing the downsides of technology?
What are some ways that technology can be used to assist with teaching specific content areas?
Evolution of Technology in the Classroom
The last few decades has been on of a rapid explosion in the advancement of digital technologies (Purdue, n.d.). One the first examples of techonolgy being adapted for classroom use was the introduction of early projectors, chalkboard, and pencils in the late-19th century (Purdue, n.d.). These examples showed how students needed more techonolgy to assist in classroom learning (Purdue, n.d.). The mid-twienth century (1930's to 1970's) saw the introduction of the overhead projector, videotapes, and classroom calculators (Purdue, n.d.). Each has become a staple of the classroom enviroment, allowing for exposure to different mediums of information and ways to presenting information (Purdue, n.d.). These techonologies drastically helped to increase the qualitity of American education, with high school enrollment increasing from 10 to 95 % from 1900-1992 (Purdue, n.d.). The 1980's and 1990's saw the rapid development of the computer and Internet, and revolutionized both our personal lives and schools, with 97% of classrooms having at least one computer by 2009 (Purdue, n.d.). This means most classrooms today have direct access to the online databases of the Internet, and great skill is needed for educators to show students how to navigate this database (Himmelsbach, 2019).
There are now many new technologies being experimented with in today's social media age (Purdue, n.d.). One such technology is Biometrics, which will aim to examine the dispostions of each student to allow education to be personalized to them (Purdue, n.d.). Another potential new technology is agumented reality (AR) devices (Purdue, n.d.), allowing students access to many new direct learning experiences such as conversations with deceased historical figures (Purdue, n.d.). Touch screens like I-pads are already seeing integration into the classroom, but new technological developments are making it possible for students to share desks or workspace-sized touch screens, allowing for new forms of student collaboration (Purdue, n.d.). For these new technologies, it is important for educators to take the effort to familarize themselves with new techonological advancements, in order to know how to properly use them in the classroom (Purdue, n.d.). Educators should consider the remainder of this web page as a guide to a few general principals to that end.
Advanatges of Technology Use in the Classroom
According to one study, 92% of teachers say that techonolgy has singicantly altered their classroom enviroments and lesson preparation (Walden University, n.d.). Hence, it is not a matter of if technology will impact your classroom, but a question of how technology will impact your classroom. If used well, techonology can help keep students more engaged, allows students to collaborate on class projects, and allows teachers access to important instruction materials (Himmelsbach, 2019; Walden University, n.d.). For educators, techonology provides two great avenues. One is that it enables teachers to give important feedback and the second it that it helps teachers experiment with new methods of teaching (Himmelsbach, 2019). Most importantly, providing student instruction in technology use can help prepare students to nagivate a world becoming increasingly entwined with the digital world (Walden University, n.d.). Two of the most important digital skills educators need to teach students include the ability to create presentations and be able to critically evaluate the reliability of online sources (Himmelsbach, 2019).
Disadvantages of Technology in the Classroom
Like most technologies, digital materials can cause issues if they are not used well. One such issue is that many modern devices can distract students from learning (Himmelsbach, 2019). Studies have shown that students who have access to Internet during lectures both learn less and have poorer grades (Himmelsbach, 2019). It is important for educators to set limits and ensure technology facilitates engagment, not hinders it. One such recommendation would be to ensure devices like laptops are only selectively used and not at all during lectures (Himmelsbach, 2019). Another, more long-term damage, is that technology can distract students from forming healthy social interactions (Himmelsbach, 2019). Assignments using tech should still require students to interact with each other, not to escape from social relationships (Himmelsbach, 2019). Another important item is that technology opens oppurtunity for students to cheat on assignments, requiring educators to become familar with anti-cheating websites (Himmelsbach, 2019). Educators should also focus more on process than final answers and avoid using only computer-based forms of assessments (Himmelsbach, 2019). Lastly, teachers need to make sure to instruct students on critical thinking skills to ensure students know to avoid unreliable sources (Himmlsbach, 2019). Overall, teachers need to be aware that while technology is a great tool for learning, it is far from the only tool that should be used (Himmelsbach, 2019).
The Digital Divide
The last thing educators need to be aware of when planning to integrate technolgy into the classroom is the fact that each student does not have equal access to technological resources such as the Internet (Himmelsbach, 2019). This is something that Chris Zook (2019) refers to as "The Digital Divide (Section 5)." Teachers need to understand that many students' families (around 25 % nationwide cannot afford computer or Internet access, and need to plan lessons so that the reality does not become a barrier to students from lower -income families (Himmelsbach, 2019; Zook, 2019). It is recommended that digital resources do not become the only meaningful way students can complete course work (Himmelsbach, 2019). It is also important for educators to take responsbility to learn about internet statisitics for their local area and to seek out resources to allievate this divide (Zook, 2019). One source that Chris Zook (2019) recommends is the The Internation Publisher of Information Science and Technological Research. In additon, teacher should be familar with the electronic devices (such as computers, touch screens, etc.) that are availiable in their schools and incoporate a fair schedule with an appropriate workload for each digital assignment to give each student an equitable chance to complete each assignment.
Part 1: Track the technology use in your classroom for the next two weeks. Be sure to critically evaluate how effective/ineffective the incidents of technology use are.
Part 2: Using the data developed in Part 1, develop and experiment with plans to improve techonology use in the classroom. Include plans on how to account for and navigate around unequal Internet access. Feel free to share results down in the comments.
5 Benefits of Technology in the Classroom (Walden, n.d.)
6 Pros and Cons of Techonology in the Classroom (Himmelsbach, 2019).
Evolution of Techonology in the Classroom (Purdue, n.d.)
Expert Advice on Classroom Technology (Boss, 2011)
Boss, S. (2011, Sept. 7). Technology integration: What experts say. Edutopia. Retrived from https://www.edutopia.org/article/technology-integration-what-experts-say.
Edutopia. Tech literacy: Making it relevant through content learning [Video File]. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/video/tech-literacy-making-it-relevant-through-content-learning.
Himmelsbach, V. (2019, Jul. 15). Technology in the classroom in 2019: 6 pros and cons. Top Hat. Retrieved from https://tophat.com/blog/6-pros-cons-technology-classroom/.
Internation Publisher of of Information Science and Technology Research (n.d.). What is digital divide? IGI Global. Retrieved from https://www.igi-global.com/dictionary/digital-divide/7600.
Purdue University (n.d.). The evolution of technology in the classroom. Purdue University Online. Retrieved from https://online.purdue.edu/blog/education/evolution-technology-classroom.
[Photograph of children using technology in classroom]. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/teacher-giving-lesson-technology-classroom-441374218.
Walden University. Top 5 benefits of technology in the classroom. Walden University. Retrieved from https://www.waldenu.edu/programs/education/resource/top-five-benefits-of-technology-in-the-classroom.
Zook, C. (2019, Dec. 10). What is digital citizenship. Applied Educational Systems. Retrived from https://www.aeseducation.com/blog/what-is-digital-citizenship.