Technology in the classroom…. Yes or No?

Technology is part of our lives, whether we want it to be or not because people have to use technology for some reason or another. We are surrounded by it! The question is, does technology in the classroom enhance learning or does it curtail it? Now, here is the thing, this is a pretty controversial topic if you ask me. It’s kind of hard to choose a “side” to this debate because research shows pros and cons to the use of technology in classrooms.

What do you think?

Pros…

  • For many different reasons, some kids don’t always feel compelled to share their voices in the classroom. Utilizing technology to gather opinions and ideas might encourage these kids to share in a more anonymous way. If technology is used to enhance learning, this would help students who have difficulties using their voice and wouldn’t enable those who love to talk to do so. Discussions should always be welcomed.
  • Integrating technology in the classroom will help develop digital literacy. We want our students to be able to become creative in the digital world. We also want them to be able to survive in the academic world which now revolves around technology. Whether they will become tech savvy or not, being digitally literate will help them conquer academic challenges in their post-secondary education while also helping them survive the challenges that will arise in their personal lives. Setting rules and bounderies, at home and at school, will help students learn the importance of being responsible with technology.
  • Using technology in the classroom allows teachers to explore digital citizenship which will help students become independent, self-regulated device users. It is important for them to know how to use technology in positive and acceptable fashion. We want them to be proactive and respectful. Everyone should envision a digital wellness to avoid problems while using technology. The New York Times article reflects how parents don’t allow their kids to use technology and are pushing for them to frequent school that are technology free. I believe this won’t help them become eloquent in technological language.
  • If teachers know and understand some of the models that exist, which explains the better ways to incorporate technology in the classroom, it will definitely enhance learning. Here are two models to go by to help you better do this:
    1. The SAMR model “is a framework through which you can assess and evaluate the technology you use in your class”. (Educatorstechology.com);
    2. The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Framework (TPACK) “outlines how content (what is being taught) and pedagogy (how teacher imparts that content) must form the foundation for any effective edtech integration”. (Educationaltechnology.net) Here is a YouTube video explaining the TPACK model.

Cons…

  • It isn’t always available. In our school we have 30ish computers for the entire school. We must reserve them at the library if we plan a lesson that would be best done with them. Usually, high school students have priority so elementary school students don’t have access to them very often. We also have distance learning classes offered in our school so students who take these classes have first dibs on computers.
  • Teachers and students don’t use it properly. It doesn’t always motivate the student. The activities suggested by teachers are not engaging and/or empowering. Instead of doing their work, they waste time googling meaningless stuff, watching YouTube videos for entertainment or messaging each other through Google Chat. Laptops, phones and other devices can cause students to be distracted.
  • As teachers, it’s imperative we address the in person bullying that arises in our classrooms but also, addressing the online aspect of it too. Being mindful and aware of the issues that can arise with the use of technology in the classroom is important. Talking about cyberbullying with the students will definitely help counteract this problem.
Frustrated?

It is important to show kids how to use technologies so that it benefits them. Digital citizenship is definitely important knowledge to share with students if we want them to be responsible in the digital world and mindful of their usage of technology. How do you utilize technology in your classroom and what is your opinion on this matter… does it encourage engagement, or does it become a nuisance to learning?

7 thoughts on “Technology in the classroom…. Yes or No?

Add yours

  1. I use a recording app that allows me to have multiple camera angles and I can see my little guy taking advantage of this technology to turn in homework with an “outside the box” way! I believe, in a structured routine, technology should be encouraged! Thank you Madame Jazz for bringing up some great points! You’ve put in alot of research and time to write this blog! -xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post that really does outline the pros and cons of technology. A few points that really resonated with me was your point about students who are not as inclined to speak in front of the class having opportunity to share their voice. In recent years I have been utilizing more tech to try and level the playing field of who’s voice is heard. Often in our classrooms (really in life) there are people that feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting, and others who would prefer a different setting. I believe tech can offer that setting and therefore equitable opportunities for all students to share. I also believe that we as a classroom community, and as a global community, are better when ALL voices are shared. This adds a dynamic not only to our classroom, but also to the issue of inequity in our world where certain voices get more air time than others. It also adds an opportunity for perspectives to be enhanced as an incredible point may not be shared in a certain environment due to many circumstances. Another point that resonated with me was your point about procedures. I agree that the more teachers know their intentions, the more we can outline expectations and boundaries, not only are we using tech to aid the lesson we are modelling digital citizenship and digital learning that goes beyond the tools being used and students are aware of those expectations and thus know what is expected of them. Great points in this post that got me thinking, and BEAUTIFUL blog space. You have an eye for design 😉

    Like

  3. I am a huge advocate for using technology in the classroom. With teaching high school mathematics, there is a large focus on students being able to demonstrate math problems involving graphing. Unfortunately, my school does not have the funds at the moment to purchase a class set of graphing calculators which translate to the class to use Chromebooks and more specifically Desmos. I find that students are engaged when using Desmos.
    However, the reason that there is engagement is because of the method in which I deliver the task to students. I am a list of instructions for students to complete. While they are working, I am constantly circulating throughout the classroom. I answer student questions, and make sure that students are working on the assigned task. It is for teachers when using technology to monitor students in order for the engagement to take place.
    The only nuisance that I face is when there is an issue with the internet, or if other teachers have already booked the Chromebooks for the day. In these types of situations, I do have a backup plan for teaching the concepts. In my opinion, the incorporation of the technology enhances the learning for my students.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree that technology can enhance education when used properly and with a purpose. My gripe for how technology is used in some classes is how it is used to curb behaviour. It’s like busy work during independent work time with no follow-up or feedback given to students with regards to their time spent on it. That’s where I think some teachers need supports, much like what Curtis does for his school division. I just wish we had a specific position like his in my division as it would help immensely with technology integration in classrooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that teachers need more PD to help with technology use in classrooms. It’s sad to see how it is used in some non-pedagogical ways sometimes!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Like

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