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Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students

Technology is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the world today. Technology has evolved and become more central to teaching and learning. Integrating technology into the curriculum is a priority in schools. When teachers first began to use computers in a classroom setting, schools evaluate whether the use of educational technology had a significant and consistent impact on student achievement. When people hear the word “technology”, computers are the first thing people think. However, there are many different types of technology other than computers that can be used to improve student learning. There are different kinds of content and serve different purposes in the classroom. Such examples as word processing programs that encourage communication and writing skills; spreadsheet software promotes mathematics; database software promotes organizational skills; modeling software enhances the application of science skills (Using Technology to Improve Achievement, 1999). It is without question that the introduction of a new medium of instruction like technology would have an enormous impact on the traditional classroom.

Technology should be integrated as a tool to promote and extend student learning on a daily basis. Technology use allows students to create, problem solve, research, collaborate, and interact globally. Students that use technology as a tool and or a support for communicating with others are in an active role rather than the passive role of recipient of information by a teacher or reading textbooks. Students have the ability to learn and express themselves in their individual learning style too.

When technology is introduced into a classroom, things change. Instruction through computers give students more control over their learning environments and access to a wider range of materials to use in the learning process.  For example, students are too confused or embarrassed to ask questions because they don’t want to show their ignorance but with individualized computer instruction, students can always immediately request help if something is unclear. Computers in classroom help to make it more interactive. They are extremely effective with the struggling learners because they have unlimited patience. The computer can also be used to educate the smarter students who easily get bored in a traditional classroom since they reach their goal faster. With computers, students that finish a unit can go to the next one immediately. For these bright students, the challenges that computers can offer encourage self-directed learning. Also, the use of technology fosters collaboration among student.

The teacher’s role changes as well. Teachers often find themselves acting more as coaches and less as lecturers. Teachers play the role of facilitator, setting project goals and spend more time individualizing their instruction. As a result, students are given much more individual attention due to the nature of some technologies.

There are many research studies validating the benefits of technology in the classrooms. Classrooms with the use of technology have students with positive attitudes, and a greater inclination to learn, and an increase in student achievement too. Many different types of technology and interactive learning process can be used to support and enhance learning:

Basic Skills Instruction

  • Computer assisted instruction to drill
  • Multi-media software – teach to a variety of learning styles
  • Videodiscs – strengthen basic skills
  • Video and audio technologies – bring material to life
  • Distance learning – at least as effective as traditional methods of instruction
  • All forms – develop new skills related to use of technology itself, necessary in workplace

Advanced Skills Instruction

  • Interactive educational technologies, including:
    • Computer-generated simulations
    • Videodiscs
    • Internet
    • CD-ROM
  • Students learn to: organize complex information, recognize patterns, draw inferences, communicate findings
  • Learn better organizational and problem-solving skills

Assessment of Student Progress

  • More comprehensive with multimedia
  • Assessments which require student’s active participation
  • Electronic portfolios

Student Motivation

  • They like it better
  • Increased family involvement
  • Improved teachers’ skills
  • Improved School Administration and Management

When students see their teacher incorporating new technology and trying new things, they become more engaged in the process. Technology allows students to see the whole world as a resource with themselves being in charge of their destiny. It also benefits students because they have choices and opportunities to explore and share information to a greater extent than available in a traditional classroom.

In conclusion, technology is a versatile and valuable tool for teaching and learning and becoming a way of life. Technology in the classroom is both beneficial to students and teachers. It creates new ways of obtaining and presenting information and gives students new ways of analyzing and understanding the world around them.

References:

D’Angelo, J. M., & Woosley, S. A. (2007). Technology in the classroom: friend or foe | Education | Find Articles at BNET. Reference Publications. Retrieved February 22, 2011, from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3673/is_4_127/ai_n29358572/
Department of Education 1995 forum: Technology’s Impact on Learning, Retrieved on May 8, 2011 from http://www.nsba.org/sbot/toolkit/tiol.html

North Central Regional Education Laboratory. (1999). Critical Issue: Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement. Retrieved on May 07, 2011 from http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te800.html

Technology In the Classroom. (n.d.). . Retrieved March 1, 2011, from http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/techinclass/print.htm

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