Technology has revolutionized the human experience by changing the way one learns. For the most part, technology can best be defined as a tool that supports and promotes human learning. This new way of learning is slowly starting to make itself visible within the classroom through the usage of calculators, tablets (example: iPad), Smart Boards, video cameras, and, of course, the computer.
These are all innovations that can have a profound impact on classroom learning. Although there are some schools that have a strict policy that technology should be removed from the modern day classroom, most schools encourage the integration of technology into the classroom because it helps prepare students for the elaborate world they will face going forward. Throughout this essay, I will focus on the technology policy and how it has a positive effect in the classroom as it promotes the right to explore and investigate certain topics, makes learning fun and inviting, allows for individualized instruction, and it even allows the teacher to fulfill other roles that would later contribute to the students’ education. The use of computers to look up information/data is a tremendous time saver, especially when used to access a comprehensive resource like the Internet to conduct research.
This time-saving aspect can keep students focused on a project much longer than they would with books and paper resources, and it helps them develop better learning through exploration and research. By allowing students to research their work utilizing technology, educators are teaching them how to be accountable with their tasks. Depending on how the instructor chooses to divide the time to take advantage of the technology in the classroom, a student is allotted a certain amount of time on the computer and/or iPad. With this being said, the student must work diligently to accomplish finishing the task at hand. In addition, technology in the classroom makes students want to learn because learning is then seen as fun.
When technology is interspersed into school lessons, learners are more likely to be interested in, focused on, and excited about the subjects they are studying. Subjects that might be monotonous for some – like math and science – can be much more engaging with virtual lessons, tutoring, and the streaming of educational videos (Khan, 2012, p. 17).
As a student who struggled with Math, the best way that I learned was through computer games because it was fun and interesting to me. When students are given the opportunity to learn at their pace, stress levels are managed and scores are increasingly higher because the student is given the opportunity to grow their confidence and complete the task at a pace he or she is comfortable with. With the integration of technology, students get direct, individualized instruction from the computer. This form of supplemental teaching allows them to engage with the information at times that are most convenient for them and helps them become more self-directed in the learning process. It also gives the teacher more time to accomplish classroom objectives, while freeing them up to help the students who might be struggling with certain lessons. It is crucial that students are not just being educated in only one way. Each child is different; as a result, learning styles should be versatile and open to new strategies. By learning to use technology correctly, teachers are preparing themselves, and the students for the future by developing certain skills that will be essential in the 21st century.
Besides developing the students’ technological skills, students will learn to think critically and analytically as they begin to immerse themselves into this new way of learning. Technology is everywhere. Students need to learn these skills so that they can be successful in their own futures. Education is no longer just about learning and memorizing facts and figures; it is about collaborating with others, solving complex problems, developing different forms of communication and leadership skills, and improving motivation and productivity. Of course, as with anything, there are some perceived negative aspects to using technology in the classroom, such as abusing internet privileges for non-school related activities.
However, in most cases, the pros largely outweigh the cons. The best way to guard against any negative effects of technology integration and implementation is to make sure teachers and students are trained in the proper use and etiquette of the resources. Teachers should always understand how and why each piece of technology is being used by their students, and they should monitor student activities to the best of their abilities. It is evident that the implementation of technology in the classroom promotes the right to explore and investigate certain topics, makes learning fun and inviting, allows for individualized instructions, and it even allows the teacher to fulfill other roles that would later contribute to the students’ education. Nothing is perfect, and we certainly should not diminish the roles of traditional learning processes – such as handwriting – but when used correctly, technology can help both teachers and students soar to success.