Children and teenagers in school right now, and young adults that are attending college, are often referred to as the “digital generation”; a generation that has grown up with the development of technology and has continually had access to the technology throughout their lives.
There is no doubt that technology has become a part of everyday life for many people, but how has it been integrated into education? And what are the impacts of technology inside of the classrooms?
Synthesis of Technology Into The Classroom
I can remember in middle school when technology was first becoming a big tool inside of the classroom. Besides the teachers having their computers to enter grades and to print, they were using their computers to project onto the board instead of the old school laminate projectors.
In the fifth grade, there was a mobile laptop cart that all of the classrooms had access to, although it only had 25 computers for the 60 students in the grade. In 2009, the National Center for Education Statistics released a study that found that 97 percent of classrooms had access to one or more computers in the classroom everyday. StatisticBrain released findings in 2015 that revealed approximately 77 percent of teachers use their computers for instruction in the classroom.
Educators have also been finding ways to successfully integrate the use of technology into their students education. Edutopia suggested a list of different ways that students can learn through and with technology in their educations like,
- Project-based Activities Incorporating Technology
- Game-based learning and assessment
- Learning with Mobile and Handheld Devices (Shoutout to #ICParkSM for being ahead of this trend)
- Web-Based Projects, Explorations, and Research, and the list goes on.
There have also been frameworks (SAMR and TPACK) published by education experts to explain the successful integration of technology into classrooms so that the technology is seen as much as a learning tool as a dictionary or graphing calculator.
Positive Impacts Made By Technology in Classrooms
“A Look at Recent Findings on Technology in the Classroom,” published in The Huffington Post in 2013, reported that 78 percent of teachers found technology had been a beneficial tool in their classrooms.
The United States Department of Education also found several positive effects of the use of technology in their classrooms, including:
- Increased motivation and self-esteem,
- An impressive apprehension level of technical skills,
- Accomplishment of more complex tasks,
- More collaboration with peers,
- Increased use of outside resources, and
- Improved design skills
But, with the good comes the bad…
Technology undoubtedly provides students with more access to materials and learning tools than they’ve ever had before, but there has also been several negative thoughts of use of technology in the classroom.
In 2015, Edudemic published a post, “The Four Negative Sides of Technology,” citing technology
- Changes the way children think,
- Changes the way children feel,
- Puts our safety and privacy at risk, and
- Can lead to less physical activity.
Psychology Today has published studies saying that the technology does change the way that children are wired to think, and that there are being multiple studies completed to look at the short and long-term effects of the usage.
With great “power” comes great responsibility, and seeing as technology is becoming a necessary tool in life, it’s important for teachers and individuals to learn of the effects that come with the integration of the tech.
Our #ICParkSM class and myself will be live blogging #EdTech16 on Thursday, 3/24. Check out our site to see some of the technologies that are being introduced into classrooms!