Technology in the classroom
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
Its that time of year again! People of all ages are heading back to school and its obvious that technology has been established as an important learning tool for students of all ages. While it is clear that there are many benefits to the use of technology in the classroom (and if you don’t believe me, check out the article, "36 ways to use wearable technology in the classroom") there are still some people who have doubts.
While many individuals might claim that there is a generational divide with the older generation being opposed to the use of technology in the learning environment, there may be merit to some of the concerns. For instance, many studies have proven that students who take notes by hand are more engaged in class and retain more information than students who use laptops for note taking. This may be linked to the fact that students who are using laptops for note taking may also be using the technology for other purposes during class which may distract them from learning; thus, preventing the retention of information. While this is of course dependent upon how a student decides to use the technology, it can be hard to resist the urge to use the laptop for alternative purposes when it is sitting right in front of them. Even the best of students may be tempted to check their emails during class which begs the question: do the risks outweigh the benefits?
Before answering this question, it is also important to consider how the use of technology in the classroom will impact the career prospects of students. After all, the goal of education is to produce well-educated citizens who are prepared for the workforce. As such, it may in fact be a good idea to introduce students to the technology that they will need to use in a future career in order to help them prepare for the future. While this may not have been a key element of education in the past due to the lack of technology in the workforce, this is no longer the case because today’s society thrives in a technology enriched environment.
With that in mind, I would have to argue that the benefits outweigh the potential risks. To ignore technology in a learning environment would be to ignore a key part of the workforce which the education system is supposed to be preparing students for. Therefore, while there are certainly risks associated with using technology in the classroom, it is important to prepare students for all aspects of the real world. Technology has proven to be an essential part of everyday life in today’s society; to ignore or prohibit the use of technology in a learning environment would place limitations on the potential of student success.