Where does technology fit into classroom instruction? What positive or negative impact does it have on a student’s school experience? Good questions, tough answers. 21st century learning is a phrase we hear quite often whether in a PLC, development days, or almost any other educational setting. Some classes integrating technology is pretty simple, while others it may be a little more difficult. When reading “Teaching and Learning with Technology”, I like how they discuss weaving technology seamlessly throughout the day. It was pretty direct and the video actually reminded me of observing elementary classes at the school where I teach.
Technology fits into classroom instruction when it helps facilitate student learning. It’s a tool that is used and not something that should replace the teacher. It helps create a wider audience to reach out to and motivates and engages students. In “Overselling of Ed Tech” Alphie Kohn describes the benefits of technology if it helps with collaboration and allows students to create, design, and produce something. Again, if it helps facilitate student learning, then it should be used in the classroom. Technology is also convenient when schools need to test and allows time to be used more efficiently or when a student can read a book on an iPad that stores various books and takes up less space.
While technology has its purpose in a school setting, it’s important that we don’t become to reliant on it. Students still need to interact verbally with one another and understand how to communicate correctly. Students also could become too dependent on technology and not rely on their own thinking. While it is easier to YouTube something to see how it is done, we can’t forget how to think on our own. While not directly student related, technology also costs school districts much money that could possibly be used for something else. Along with the technology schools hire a tech integration specialists who sent those annoying emails daily about the new hot site to use. These too can become overwhelming to teachers with the high amount of “new” stuff that comes out all the time.
Technology fits into classroom instruction when it is used as a tool and not as a substitute teacher. It can provide positive experiences to kids as they can reach out to an audience and collaborate with others. It allows kids to create and produce that helps them become more engaged and hands on.