With Technology in the Classroom, The Teacher is No Longer Center Stage – Part II

Technology in the Classroom

Technology in the ClassroomLast week we explored some of the positive aspects of technology in the classroom. When used correctly, technology encourages students to be active learners, inspire greater creativity and thinking-out-of-the-box, and can even motivate underachieving or less social students to shine. Let’s take a further look at some pros and cons of this latest addition to our schools.


With the new tools at hand, many programs can be personalized to enhance specific needs of students. Interactive games may be more engaging than book learning and therefore, students may feel more enthused to practice and review areas until they master the subject matter, such as in math, spelling and geography. In addition, adaptive software can be geared towards special needs children with specific goals in mind. Student assessment can be done online freeing the teacher to spend more time with each student.


With all this positive news, not all that glistens is always gold. Even with the universal agreement that technological use often shakes students out of their learning stupor, test scores have remained stagnant. Additionally, not all educators are well versed in the use of technological tools. Some need training or should train themselves-not always possible or an easy task. Others simply shy away from using the tools at hand and keep the Smartboards, ELMOs, or iPads locked away. Figuring out how to use technology to meet curriculum objectives can also be daunting task. These are real issues which need to be addressed.


In the meantime, there is a wealth of information on the web for guiding teachers on how to incorporate technology into lesson plans. Teachers, as always, need to be clear on what are the lesson’s objectives. What problem solving skills are being developed as well as critical thinking and even character development. Additionally, there should be clarity as to how much computer time will be spent during a school day.


I’d like to end by sharing an amazing story told by a teacher in an article: “John” had major problems at home. He figured out a way to make music by getting the computer to play certain letters by certain powers and it changed the musical tone of the note. He actually wrote a musical piece. John stayed in every recess. . . . When asked what he was working on, he wouldn’t tell. Then he asked if he could put his HyperCard stack on this teacher’s computer because it was hooked up to speakers. When done, he played his music and literally stopped the classroom. For months he had kids begging him at recess, every recess, to teach them how to make music. For this particular kid it was the world because he really was not successful academically and was having lots of problems. . . . This really changed him for that school year. 


How do you feel about technology in the classroom? Please share your experiences, both pros and cons.

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