Technology in the Classroom
In the history of education, textbooks have always been the traditional course supplement. However, with the new age of introduced technology, methods of integrating technology in the school environment is more prominent. How much technology has affected the K-12 learning environment and communication realm is the topic at hand.
Technology was introduced to the classroom as a means for more efficient and effective teaching. According to Wen, Chuang, and Kuo, digital devices have more leverage than paper-based books because electronic books are more efficient as a result of their storage, transfer, delivery, and accessibility. Therefore, teachers would be able utilize devices to help their students learn and to communicate with their students in a more organized fashion. However, teaching can be hindered by insufficient technology due to technical problems that may arise such as crashing servers and buggy software or cause student distractions.
Though technology was introduced to schools for learning purposes, unforeseen ethical issues such as students accessing inappropriate websites, students bullying one another through social media, and students recording fights were happening on school campuses. (As a mind-picker, since technology is being utilized on school campus, just as certain rights such as search and seizure lose ground on school premises, does Internet access on school property no longer grant Internet privacy?) In an effort to stop such acts and protect students from the dangers of the Internet, schools started adjusting to the use of technology by confiscating devices or privilege to devices that were being used inappropriately and blocking access to certain sites.
As technology continues to surpass boundaries, there is talk of whether or not technology will replace the need for instructors in the future. In fact, the Internet can provide resources to support students in self-teaching and learning. Computers have the ability to hear students speak and correct their pronunciation and track student progress. Yet, according to Grinnell College instructor Lowell Monke, technological communication diminishes the learning environment due to a lack of body language, facial expression, tone of voice and other components that are vital for student learning, processing, and interaction (Gordon). For example, while some students are compatible and successful with technology alone, others struggle and need face-to-face interaction with their teacher and peers.
In conclusion, student education remains on the brink of evolving into technology-based education. With the advancement of technology, digital devices are being utilized more in classrooms. Questions regarding student safety, technology efficiency, and teacher replacement begin to surface. This entails both positive and negative impacts that need to be weighed when deciding what is best for the learning environments of K-12 schools and the students enrolled in K-12 schools.
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Clemmitt, Marcia. “Digital Education: THE ISSUES.” CQ Researcher 21.42 (2011): 1003-1009. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Jan. 2018.
Gordon, David T. The Digital Classroom: How Technology Is Changing the Way We Teach and Learn. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Letter, 2000. Print.
Wen, Jia-Rong, Ming Kuang Chuang, and Sheng-Huang Kuo. Journal of Humanities & Arts Computing: A Journal of Digital Humanities 6.1/2 (2012): 224-35. History Reference Center. Web. 27 Jan. 2018.