Is Technology Making Things Worse or Better When it Comes to Education?

Technology has started taking over classrooms across the globe in recent years. Many schools use tablets, laptops and other gadgets to help create technological skills and further increase engagement in the classroom. For example, Apple has always nurtured its relationship with students and teachers. It has increased to such measure that the Macbook Air was voted as number one choice for teachers.

However, tech in the classroom has various problems including increased distractibility and further chances of cheating.

Let’s go over a list of the pros and cons of having technology in the classroom along with some advice to help students get the most out of technology.

Pros

Communication

Successful students are learning how to stand up for themselves at school. Access to the abundance of communication tools on a tablet or laptop makes this skill easily developed. From sending professional emails to asking for help through software like Edmodo and Google Classroom, students can learn valuable skills regarding communication and how to advocate for themselves.

Participation:

Teachers that utilize technology to enhance lesson plans have found several ways to increase participation both inside and outside of the classroom. Gamified learning like Kahoot has made students participation in classroom simple. You know that disinterested student that’s always hiding in the back of the room, or the shy ones that know the answer, they can now operate and participate fully without any social pressure. Outside of the classroom teachers can share helpful video lectures or even make themselves available for instant messaging.

Tech competency

Let’s face it, technology is the future! Some people speculate that we should be teaching coding instead of foreign languages in school since coding is the language of the future. Having technology in the classroom makes knowledge like coding easily teachable. Successful students who can quickly become proficient in technologies of the day have the world at their fingertips. STEM Education is always promoted through curriculum development and scholarship incentives. Tech in the classrooms is just an additional way to promote this STEM learning approach.

Access to information

Old days of library research and encyclopedias are long gone. Students can access and search for helpful information online almost instantly. Access to information help students apply their teachings to real-world problems and creates an environment of innovation Technology has also allowed the majority of students to access information that was saved for extremely expensive and specialized schools.

Cons

Increased distractions

From Fruit Ninja to League of Legends, teachers compete with technology every day to keep students paying attention. Already distractible students have a very short attention span and are having difficulties paying attention in schools where technology is already present. These students don’t necessarily have to be the one using this technology to be distracted. If a student that sits in front of a class is playing a game it can severely impact the attention of the classroom. If you’re struggling with focus there is a proven method of work to increase focus and improve the quality of tasks you’re put up to. Teachers have also gotten better at controlling the distractibility but it still remains a constant battle.

Cyber Safety

Along with the dangers of plagiarism and cheating on tests, technology has also made students exposed to other dangers of the internet. Cybersecurity is becoming ever-important in today’s tech-friendly environment. Students often don’t grasp the ramifications of their actions on the internet (or social media) and don’t see the danger in submitting confidential information online.

Less Social Interaction

If you walk up to a regular cafeteria or in any of the student centre, you would notice that most of them are staring at their phones with little-to-none social interaction. Decreased social interaction is a direct result of technology in the classroom.

Conclusion

Is technology making the classroom more interactive and better or worse? There are arguments to support each side but the benefits of the technology seem to outrank the dangers. Technology in the classroom is just going to increase in future years and it’s up to us to adapt and make it work for everyone!

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