Technology in the Classroom

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Initially, when I read this question, there was an obvious answer. It is clear that technology plays a huge role in everyday life, so why would teachers not incorporate it in the classroom? Kids and adults are constantly on phones, computers, tablets, kindles, and other technological devices, so why wouldn’t teachers be required to incorporate them in school?

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Technology is constantly developing and expanding. Some individuals feel that in order to be apart of society they must be up-to-date with technology. From a personal experience, my grandparents got new cell phones and learned how to text just to be able to communicate with me easier. Although I call them regularly, they felt the pressure from society to text, because that is how they see me communicate with my friends. This displays the pressure society puts on individuals to be familiar with current technology, which is why it should also be used in the classroom.

Personally, technology plays a large role in my daily life. Although I tell my mom otherwise when she tells me I’m on my phone and computer too much, technology is important for my education and social life. Even though I may not use technology in a beneficial way all the time, I have had numerous experiences where technology helped me succeed. Additionally, I have seen technology drastically change individual’s lives. In high school I spent a lot of time in a special education classroom and learned how to work with students with diverse disabilities who use different tools to help them reach their full potential. This includes communication devices that give non-verbal students a voice, and other technological advances that allow students to accomplish tasks that otherwise would be almost impossible. It is clear that by having this technology in their lives they are able to participate and be more actively involved, which is the goal in education. Here are two videos that display the positive effects that technology has on individuals with special needs.

http://www.schooltube.com/video/a04a1d7da74d4ecc868a/Technology%20in%20Special%20Education

http://globalnews.ca/video/680837/new-technologies-give-kids-a-voice

Additionally, According to a research project sponsored by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, “When technology is used as a tool to support students in performing authentic tasks, the students are in the position of defining their goals, making design decisions, and evaluating their progress.” This active role increases student motivation and self-confidence. Furthermore, it is important to remember that each generation has an education system for its time. Now, we are part of the Internet and technological era, so the education system should be parallel.

Although I strongly believe that technology should be included in instruction, I don’t think it fair for it to be a requirement. Unfortunately, many schools do not have the funds or resources to provide the technology that is beneficial in the classroom. Furthermore, if teachers are not educated on how to use the technology appropriately, then it may be forced and take away from the learning. I also believe that teachers should have some choice in what they do or don’t do in their classroom. Since every classroom is unique in its structure and students, it is important that teachers make instruction decisions based on their specific class. Teachers are in charge of determining the needs of their students, so if they determine that technology would not be beneficial, then it should not be mandatory.

Overall, technology does amazing things in the classroom. Whenever it is possible it should be used. Teachers should take the time to learn how to use the technology in order to better their student’s education. The following quote by John Dewey really shows the importance of teaching for the future.

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Times are changing and it is critical that the methods and resources used to educate future generations are up-to-date. It is teachers who prepare students for the world they will face after schooling, and because technology is everywhere, we need to provide our students with the skills necessary to succeed. When in the classroom, it is critical that teachers ask themselves what world their students are going to enter and what skills they will need in order to be successful.

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