This is a hot topic as people debate if utilizing technology in the classroom is harmful or helpful to the learning experience. There are great arguments for both as some teachers find it to be distracting while others enjoy the benefits technology has to offer. There was a time when libraries and paper documents were the only reliable source for academic information. Phones only made calls. If you wanted portable music, you had to have a Walkman. Social media didn't exist, and if you wanted to get somewhere you either looked at a map or printed off MapQuest instructions before you left for your trip. The times have certainly changed.
Current school-aged kids were born between 2001 and 2016. This means the students that now occupy classrooms have barely known a life without Google, iPods, GPS, Wi-Fi, or social media. While there are some issues that come with the world revolving around devices, what if these devices and advances in technology could benefit a student's education? What if they could make a difference in the classroom? Good news, they already are making a difference! With the advance of technology, there have been so many doors opened for students and teachers alike.
Here are 5 benefits of utilizing technology in the classroom!
1. Harness distractions
This is one of the top concerns of people who are against technology in classrooms. If our children's lives already revolve around technology, should we continue to encourage this? Well, technology isn't going away. It is ever-present in our social and professional lives, and this isn't changing anytime soon. If technology is here to stay, why not teach students to harness everything that technology has to offer in a way that promotes education and research? It's all about harnessing the distractions and using them in a way that will make the classroom a more fun place to be.
2. More fun and engaging
Technology can be a great way to make the classroom engaging. Lectures often leave students disengaged and with no true take away. However, if teachers can quiz students and use other interactive software and devices, the student is more likely to retain the information they are being given.
3. Prepares students for the future
In nearly every profession, there is a certain level of tech knowledge that is needed to accomplish the job most effectively. With this becoming more and more of a reality, it is great for students to go ahead and learn how to use technology to its full extent. Having a working knowledge of Microsoft programs, popular software, and work tools is imperative as students go into the workforce or higher education.
4. Helps teachers
Teachers are faced with trying to accommodate a multitude of children with a variety of needs. Unfortunately, teachers don't have the capability to spend time with each and every student the way they often want to. However, with the use of technology in the classrooms, teachers can spend more time with students that need extra help, while allowing other students to proceed at their own pace. There are also ways for teachers to use technology to test the student's knowledge on a certain subject at the beginning of class. The immediate results show the teacher what specific subjects may need to be covered more thoroughly.
5. Encourages collaboration
Lastly, technology encourages collaboration. There are so many tools available that students can use to share notes, encourage discussion, and work collaboratively to reach the same goal. There is nothing quite like teamwork!
As you can see, technology is an excellent tool to improve the classroom. However, we must remember that it is just that – a tool. Technology cannot truly replace a student's relationship with their teachers, but it can certainly provide endless resources for learning - in and out of the classroom.
The Cherokee County Educational Foundation is dedicated to investing in the students and teachers of Cherokee County. To learn more about our foundation, click here!