Since the dawn of man, people have been discovering new and inventive ways to do things. We have come a long way from hunting in the wild with spear and arrow, to hunting with a high-powered rifle. What we use as tools is always changing; a new discovery can replace old instruments that were once seen as essential for success. So what are the pros and cons of technology in the classroom?
Technology in the Classroom
In classrooms across the globe, there is an argument about whether or not technology should be used in the classroom. The use of technology in the classroom includes every gadget and tool that is based on the internet or tech. Below are some pros and cons of both sides of this argument to help you decide where you stand on this topic.
Pros of Technology in Classroom
Technology has come a long way since it was first introduced into the classroom in 1971 when Texas Instruments developed the first touch-sensitive calculator. Here are 5 Benefits of technology in classrooms:
Learning and Teaching Efficiency
The use of gadgets like iPad and tablets has changed the way we teach. Both learning and teaching capabilities are improved due to the use of technology in the classroom. Now, it is almost impossible to find a classroom where technology is not being used in order to improve classroom efficiency.
Effectiveness in Results
Teachers who use iPad and other tools in class tend to achieve higher student test scores. With technology, teachers also claim to spend less time preparing lesson plans, collect less data on student learning, and communicate more with students. On the other hand, students also find it easier to access the desired data from anywhere.
Kids are increasingly taking advantage of technology in the classroom (and at home too). The teacher can develop lessons around the specific strengths of each student, and all students can feel engaged because everyone has their own device.
Effective Student-Student Communication
Students who use technology effectively in the classroom show increased social skills, such as improved ability to communicate with peers. Teachers can help guide and mentor through this process to ensure that students are using technology safely and responsibly.
Engagement outside Class
Students tend to be more engaged outside of class when given a specific goal or objective they wish to achieve; using technology helps facilitate this engagement and allows for greater success outside of school walls.
Assistive technology is used for students who are under an IEP or 504 plan. These are devices that make it easier for the student to learn. Here is a great video from our friends at Reading Rockets about assistive technology:
The only hard part with assistive technology is knowing who pays for assistive technology.
Cons of Technology in Classroom
Technology in the classroom is getting more popular. But there are always pros and cons to new technology. Here are 3 cons of having technology in the classroom:
Better Technology than Majority of Students
Gone are the days where school children use pencils and paper to learn. Most schools have committed to using technology for teaching, and some students may not be able to keep up with the other students or may not have access for that matter.
Technological Assumptions Aren’t Scientifically Proven
It’s a good idea to think critically about what you’re learning in class from watching a lecture on a screen or reading notes online, but when you make your assumptions from technology with no scientific proof, it can lead to people believing something just because they saw it on the screen. There is far too much risk when thinking outside of what is actually scientifically proven by research and science journals.
There are Always Limitations
While there is a lot of evidence to support technology being beneficial in the classroom, no technology can be considered perfect or completely accurate. Technology can and will improve, but until then there are limitations.
Unfortunately technology in the classroom comes with one big downfall and that is the cost. Many schools are using 1-to-1 computers or devices including ipads or laptops. Many elementary classrooms now have smart boards where work can be projected onto the screen and special pens are used to solve problems.
I think we need to keep an open mind as well as evaluate both the pros and cons of using technology in the classroom. So far from what we’ve learned, both sides are valid. We must be critical thinkers about all of our choices and not just accept that something is right or bad because someone told us so. Students’ job is to ask questions and analyze information for themselves about their own education.