There have been several debates on whether schools should have technology like tablets in their classrooms. Some people believe that by having technology in the classroom, kids may become easily distracted and rely on devices to learn rather than the teacher.
Some teachers feel that technology in the classroom would replace teachers and may make kids less intelligent. Some school board decision makers feel that it would increase their budgets. However, some people on the other end of the spectrum feel that certain technologies are necessary in the classroom because teaching has to evolve with current trends.
There are many types of technological instruments but we are referring to laptops, iPads, tablets, calculators, voice amplifiers, headsets, and other devices that may currently be used by teachers in several educational institutions.
So is Technology in The Classroom Making Kids Less Intelligent?
Let’s think of a calculator and how many students rely on them for solving math problems. The basic calculators that you purchase at your local store, does one job, and it is solving math problems. More advanced or smart calculators will solve equations for you too!
The argument that has been brought to many schools was that if kids rely on calculators too much, they would become less intelligent. This may have been arguably true in the past but this is not the case in these times today. This is because technological inventions change or evolve rapidly.
Let’s take the QAMA calculator as an example and pose the question, can a calculator make you smarter? QAMA is a calculator that shows the answer only when you also enter a suitable mental estimate. Hence, helping you become more knowledgeable as you use it.
So is having certain technology in the classroom making kids less intelligent? Not necessarily, providing that schools choose the right kinds of technologies. Modern devices can assist teachers in several ways and help with student engagement. However, you have to have the right kind of device in the classroom.
For instance, if you have students that are hard of hearing in your class, you can use a voice amplifier to ensure that they can hear you well. This will improve their level of participation. One commonly used voice amplifier by teachers is AmpliVox.
Another great example of how certain technology in the classroom can assist teachers is Skype. Algonquin college professors use Skype to connect online students through video chat. This is useful when there are group assignments and face-to-face communication is necessary.
Why We Need Technology in The Classroom
There are many reasons why teachers may need to use certain types of technologies in their classrooms. There are also several reasons why they may want to keep them away from their classrooms. We will start with the bad and then finish off with the good.
1) It’s a Distraction
Some devices can become a distraction but they don’t have to be. You can’t completely prevent distractions by simply telling students not to venture elsewhere on their devices or use them. Rather, it is best to create a culture of respect and structure. Students and people in general will almost always do what they believe in. The tricky part is to make your students believe in your culture.
2) It’s a Learning Process
For some teachers, lesson planning may seem more difficult to do with a PC or Tablet. The trick is to take enough time to learn how to use the technology and eventually it will become as natural as tying your shoelaces.
You may tap into the minds of your students because they probably already know how to use the given device. After all, they most likely grew up around technology and spend a lot of time using their computers and smartphones.
3) Some of Your Students Won’t Have Access to Technological Resources
As a teacher, you may find that some of your students don’t have the technological resource that they need for your class. Being able to modify schoolwork so that those students can participate as well will be important.
4) Cheating With Technology in The Classroom
Students are clever and can use technological devices such as laptops to cheat. While some scholars argue that using technology like the Internet is not cheating but merely another kind of learning resource, many others disagree.
You can avoid this problem by ensuring that a thought process is included in assignments. Make sure that they have to think about the problem as well, rather than just Googling it.
5) Less Social Interaction is Possible
It is possible that some technology in the classroom may reduce verbal communication, which can lead to low social interaction. To avoid this situation, you should assign work that requires the use of verbal communication such as presentations.
1) Engages The Four Key Components to Learning
These are active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real world experts. These are essential components that help us retain information better.
2) Students Love Technology
Students love technological devices because it’s innovative, trendy and also because most of them grew up with these devices. Whether it’s the cool factor or a genuine interest in technology, this is good news.
Teachers can engage students better by using certain technologies because it can introduce fun to the educational process. Kids spend hours using things like iPods, iPads, and laptops when they are at home so why not teach them with some of these devices too.
3) Basic and Advanced Computer Skills
You may have noticed that whenever you are looking for a job, most job postings state that they require basic or advanced level computer skills. Getting kids to learn with technology will expose them to different kinds of devices.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, I am not very good with computers!” By encouraging your students to use computers and other devices, you are setting them up for the future.
4) Reach Different Learning Styles
Technology can enable students to learn at their own pace and allow them to learn in their own way. Some people may learn better by video or text, while others learn better by doing. The use of computers or Tablets can help teachers teach students with their preferred learning method.
5) Make’s Teaching Life Easier
Computers and the Internet can be used to improve tasks such as grading, lesson planning, and scheduling for teachers. You could spend hours grading or just put the test online so that students may view their test scores instantly.
6) Tap Into Other Minds
Through the use of the Internet, you can engage your students with content from the brightest teachers in the world. You can also share content from other professionals with your students in order to re-enforce what they have learned.
7) Saves Money
At first, the initial investment to have certain technological devices in the classroom can seem expensive. However, it may also save the school money. With the right software’s installed, Tablets and iPads can serve as a functional teacher, which frees up the original teacher to aid students that need additional help.
8) Assist Students With Special Needs
Technology can help students with special needs or low attention spans like ADD (attention deficit disorder) stay focused and engaged. Diversifying the learning process and providing activities that are more engaging can do this.
For example if your ADD student has trouble focusing while reading, you can provide him or her with audio books or install reading software on a computer or other device.
9) Remove Obstacles
Technology can remove several obstacles that students may face such as hard of hearing and other developmental disorders. This was evident in our example earlier, using voice amplification devices to help hard of hearing kids in the classroom.
How is your school board using technology in the classroom?
Do you feel that technology should be in the classroom?
Please let us know and let us know what you think in the comments below.