As technology becomes more and more relevant in society and day-to-day life, the debate over bringing technology into classrooms becomes even more pertinent. Should teachers be required to learn new technology and utilize it in their classrooms? Does technology enhance the curriculum or distract students from the lesson? If teachers have been teaching without technology for so long, is it really necessary to use it in order to teach effectively? These are some questions that fuel the discussion about technology being mandated in classrooms.
It is easy to see both sides of this argument. Teachers who have been teaching for the past 25 years may not see any flaws in their pedagogy and for this reason, would not want to alter it. Additionally, they might get flustered and frustrated when operating new technology. (I know my grandparents do!) Because of this, I am able to understand the reluctance from the teaching community to incorporate technology in their classrooms.
However, I believe that the benefits from using technology in the classroom outweigh all the drawbacks of it. Some advantages of using technology include changing children’s outlooks on technology, introducing new teaching strategies, and preparing children for the future. For these reasons, it is clear to me that all teachers should be required to use technology in their classrooms to benefit their students and enrich their learning experience.
First, when using technology in the classroom, students are able to see a whole other side to technology. When normally using technology to play video games, listen to music, or text friends, students are only able to see the recreational features that technology offers. In bringing iPads, iPhones, and other modes of technology to the classroom, children are able to use these “toys” as a tool for education. Students’ perspectives on these items change and they are able to see the educational purposes of their devices.
Next, when using technology, teachers are able to use new teaching strategies that adhere to more of their students’ needs. Bringing technology to the classroom adds a new element to a child’s learning experience. When students make the association between school and their beloved devices, they grow excited about learning. Technology spices up the classroom and adds something different to the curriculum that is unlike the traditional teaching model. In this video, a curriculum instructor describes the benefits of adding technology in classrooms.
Instead of information being “poured” into children’s brains, students become more hands-on in their learning experiences. Also, technology in classrooms accommodates for all types of learners. If a student is a visual learner, then it is for the student to see the lesson on the device in front of him. If a student is an auditory learner, than the student can turn on the sound on the device being used. Lastly, if a student learns best kinesthetically, technology allows for a student to actively manipulate objects and have a more engaging learning experience.
Another reason why technology is a good tool in the classroom is because it prepares students for the future better. One of major purposes of schooling is to prepare children for the future. As time progresses, technology becomes more and more advanced. For this reason, it is important to utilize technology in the classroom so that children can become familiar with it at a younger age and as they grow become proficient technology users. The National Education Technology Plan points out that, “The plan recognizes that technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work, and we must leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences and content” (2010). This statements shows that the more relevant technology is becoming in the real world, the more important it is that children are being introduced to it in the classroom.
As a future Special Education teacher, it is so obvious for me to see the advantages of using technology in the classroom. Special education classrooms can use all the benefits that technology has to offer for the general education classroom and then some. For example, technology helps students who are non-verbal communicate, it can be used as a tool for positive reinforcement, and can also help students who are immobile get around. In this clip, an occupational therapist shows the advantages of using technology with students who have special needs.