Education and Modern Technology
Using modern technology in the classroom can be a contentious subject. Are we becoming enslaved to technology? Will technology end up replacing our teachers? The debate has raged on for years. On the one hand, technological advances have brought about such innovations as educational technology apps that can be used by students and teachers in the classroom. These apps make it easy for teachers to assess how students are performing through automatic reports generated by the apps, and this information may also help teachers gauge where students may need extra help.
Modern technology also allows students to progress at their own pace, because lessons can be tailored to students’ needs. Technology also makes learning fun for children; they have been seen to show curiosity and interest in learning when it involves technology. It also allows for differentiated learning, which caters to specific ways students prefer to learn; for example, visual learning through YouTube tutorials, aural learning through the use of audio books and logical learning through apps and programs.
With technology, teachers can concentrate on the important aspects of teaching rather than wasting all their time making and printing material for children. They can receive and access assignments through online portals, so it’s paperless and better for the environment as well. Consider, too, their access to the global education highway. Students can easily connect with the world, broaden their mind and become introduced to cultural influences they may never have known otherwise.
On the other hand, it must be noted that technology and its devices can be distracting to children; they may spend more time on social media or playing games than learning lessons. There is also the possibility that they may accidentally come across inappropriate content, or fall victim to cyber bullying. However, there are plenty of programs and software to restrict that use by students.
When using technology, there may be some students that are far more advanced in working with technology than others, creating an unfair advantage in the classroom. This can be remedied with catch up tutorials and collaboration between students. Students might also find it a lot easier to cheat. In this case, assignments and exams would need to be structured in a way that makes it harder to cheat or exams could be open-book and the results could focus on students’ ability to solve problems rather than retain information.
Finally, there is the question of equal access. While students may each have a laptop available to them at school, it may be a different story at home and this inequality may cause issues for some students.
There certainly are a number of concerns around modern technology in the classroom, though when it comes down to it, the positives surely outweigh the negatives. This modern, ever-changing world requires us to be able to change and adapt our teaching methods with it, and as technology moves forward into the future, so too do we need to further incorporate it into our classrooms. Technology may never replace our teachers outright, but it will certainly help us prepare our children for the future.