Educational Technology Today

Educational Technology Today

Technology: Advantage or Distraction?

When technology is introduced in the classroom, does this result in a child's dependence on technology, or cause them to lose their ability to relate to other people? While this may seem like a logical concern, the fact is that the same concerns were raised when other technologies were introduced – like television and the radio. While it is true that an abuse of such technology can cause problems, with appropriate use, these technologies can be used as tools for higher learning.

Technology in the classroom can help in many ways – it can make a lesson more fun and interactive, and it can prove to students that what they are learning is applicable in the real world. Additionally, some students may even learn better using technology versus traditional methods. However, before technology is introduced, a careful study needs to be made as to what, if any, benefit it can provide. Introducing technology in the classroom simply because it exists is not a wise idea.

So why is technology so important in education today? Here are a few reasons:

  • Technology in the classroom engages students – Kids love learning how to use new technology, so what better way to capture a child's attention in the classroom than to combine it with technology? Whether kids are using the Internet to research a topic, or playing a computer game that teaches a concept kids are more likely to learn when they are engaged with their learning.
  • Kids learn a valuable skill – Computers are everywhere, even in places we least expect them. It is important that kids learn how to use computers and what computers can do for them early on so they can get used to using them in everyday life.
  • Technology can connect home and school – Many schools are offering online libraries of school resources that kids can access from home, which makes studying and researching that much easier. Additionally, parents and teachers can stay in close contact with email, instead of relying on their kids to relay important messages.
  • Kids can help parents, and feel useful – Usually it is the parents who teach their kids new skills, but in some cases when technology is present it can be the other way around. By letting kids teach their parents about new technologies, they are increasing their sense of self-worth and confidence in their abilities.
  • Kids can do things they never dreamed of – Many kids have difficulty expressing themselves, either with spoken language or the written word. Computers can offer a method of communication that eliminates these boundaries, meaning they can express themselves in new ways.
  • Technology can save teachers time – We all know that most teachers these days are overworked, which is why technology in the classroom can be an important step in relieving their heavy workload. By computerizing many of a teacher's manual tasks, such as attendance and performance records, teachers can spend more time working with their students.

Before you consider introducing technology into the classroom, it is important that you carefully research and plot out exactly what you wish to accomplish. Take a look at what other teachers and schools are doing with technology and whether they are having the desired results, and then decide for yourself what type of technology is suitable for your students.

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