Thursday, November 29, 2012

Technology Taking Over Teaching

I remember when I first started school and the most exciting thing was to get to use the computer to play an educational game, or even getting an opportunity to write on the chalk board and/or overheard projector. When the chalkboard  and overhead projectors were decided to be too messy and difficult for students to read, the big white boards were introduced. Now, the excitement for kids was drawn to the smoothness of writing with a dry erase marker and easily erasing it with little to no mess on their hands. By this time, many classrooms had their own 3 or 4 computers that students could use.

Now a days students have been introduced to Smart Boards and Elmo projectors. Some schools even have a 1:1 ratio of students to computers. Technology has come a long way since I was in grade school. Students are getting to use higher forms of technology to assist the learning process of their curriculum. Some very lucky schools have the means of each student getting to use small laptops, Ipads and Nooks. Any more these days if a paperless copy of a textbook is available, many schools will opt to buy that copy instead of the physical textbook.

Are these forms of new technology really appropriate to use as a stable in the classroom? I believe that is a difficult question to answer. The use of the technology in the classroom definitely engages students and excites them to use the equipment. However, I believe it should be used sparingly. I feel it's very important that students still get to read and see a physical copy of textbooks, storybooks and chapter books. I am not completely shooting down the use of Nooks or Ipads. I just believe the use should be earned on good behavior and whether the group of students will use the equipment in an appropriate and respectful manor. Smart Boards and Elmo projectors take place of chalkboards, whiteboards and transparency overhead projectors. Because of all of the different things a Smart Board can do, students and teachers not only can write on a document while a lesson is being taught, but also save it so that they can view just exactly what happened in class at a later time. Newer students to the era of the Smart Board are probably very excited to use a board in class, but as time goes on it will become part of the normal routine.

Video: From YouTube, uploaded by: SMARTClassrooms

Using up-to-date technology in the classroom is a way to keep the engagement of students and to find easier and more proficient ways for a teacher to teach. By mixing the technology with former and more traditional ways of teaching, students with different learning styles could be kept in the loop better. I just recently did a field experience in a 6th grade class where the teacher used both a Smart Board and the whiteboard to teach his lessons. He usually prefers to use the Smart Board, but in cause it might be having an "off day" (not working as properly as it should or could) he resorts to the whiteboard. By having this choice, he does not have to take up precious time in trying to fix the Smart Board and can easily teach the lesson at an equally efficient way.

So is technology really taking over the classroom? Well, yes it is. However, not in a terrifyingly bad way. By keeping the classroom and education up to snuff with the rest of the world within the technology realm, students can be kept excited to learn.

Picture of Elmo projector taken from: Source One Rentals

No comments:

Post a Comment