Presentation on theme: "Is Technology in the Classroom Important Enough? Natalie Chapman Texas Tech University."— Presentation transcript:
Is Technology in the Classroom Important Enough? Natalie Chapman Texas Tech University
Introduction Thesis: School boards must provide more funding for additional technology in schools so that public schools are technology rich centers that benefits students through its abilities to incorporate resources outside of the classroom, cater to students learning styles, and prepare them for future job opportunities and higher education.
Background Technology in the classroom refers to mostly computer based learning, and telecommunication systems (Coley 11). Processes like the Internet, social media and smart phones have recently been added to the technology realm in classrooms because of the easy accessibility to information they offer to students. Most schools have computers or computer labs, Richard Coley, a researcher for ETS, a research and evaluative organization that focuses on educational issues, concluded that “there are major differences among schools and their access to different kinds of educational technology” and “students attending poor and high-minority schools have less access to most types of technology than students attending other schools” (5). School boards, regardless of where they are located must take it upon themselves to ensure that public schools are provided with the appropriate amount of funds to create technology rich educational facilities.
Resources Technology can administer teachers and students access to endless amounts of resources Coley asserts that telecommunication systems and the Internet allow teachers to connect with other teachers, as well as broaden their lessons and develop new material through technological resources (19). Technology now provides students with the ability to attain books that are literally out of reach or not in condition to be read anymore. Renee Crawford states that technology provides teachers and students with “the opportunity to engage and draw on expertise that would otherwise not be available to them without costly travel” (720). Websites like moma.org, GreatBuilding.com, and panoramicearth.com, among many others, provide virtual fieldtrips to historical or culturally significant landmarks overseas, or virtual tours of museums and concerts (Crawford 720).
Learning Styles With technology in the classroom, teachers have a greater ability to include multiple learning styles in their lessons, so that all their students are engaged and can have a better understanding of material. Having technology in the classroom encourages student learning, because it provides instant feedback, and gives reasoning for the answer. Computers and other e-devices are “infinitely patient and non-judgmental”, which motivates students to complete activities and lessons and presents positive attitudes toward learning (Coley 36-37). Learner centered or student centered activity has been found to enable students to have better understanding of material, because it supports independent thought rather than student’s depending on the teacher for understanding. It is clear that technology can engage students learning styles and enhances student comprehension and makes technology an important aspect to the modern classroom.
Prepare for the Future Renee Crawford argues, “schools have a responsibility and fundamental duty to educating and skilling our young to contribute and be active participants of society” (719). This is critical to education, and explains why schools must have easy access to technological applications like the Internet or class computers. Student use of technology only increases as they enter adulthood, and schools must provide them with the basic tools to be able to enter college and find jobs.
Counterargument While most schools are converting to become more technologically savvy, there are still teachers as well as school boards who are apprehensive to fund increased technology in the classroom, because they are concerned teachers and students will begin to rely too heavily on technology. Some teachers are concerned that students will lose the physical aspects of things like books. However, increased technology in the classroom is not trying to do away with all aspects of classical teaching, like physical books. It is a collaboration between the two mediums that enhances learning and will better equip students for the future. As far funding is concerned, Richard Coley addresses this issue and concludes that providing schools with technology-rich resources is important and “a variety of technology cost reductions to schools have been achieved through configuration of networks, discounted group rates, donated services and special programs” (Coley 8).
Conclusion We need to engage our school boards in the discussion of providing more funding in public schools. The question we must ask our school boards is not whether or not additional technology in the classroom is possible, but whether or not additional technology in the classroom is important enough. Technology-rich schools in the United States can provide students with a solid educational foundation in a technological world.