Technology works its way into almost every aspect of our everyday lives. The classroom is a part of that integration for many people. However, with it comes certain benefits and drawbacks.
From elementary school to graduate school, technology affects every level of education. And whether you’re in school or curious about the latest educational tech advancements, it’s crucial to read up on new integrations. An ongoing debate around tech in the classroom exists, with differing opinions on each side.
If you’re not sure where you stand with the shift, here are the pros, cons and examples of implementation.
The pros of technology in the classroom include fostering an engaging environment with more ways for students to learn. Here are some ways that can happen.
Every person is different, and everyone learns in unique ways. Technology provides a multitude of options for students to study with traditional, visual and audio strategies, plus much more.
If you’re a visual learner, you may benefit from seeing examples and interacting with them through devices. Your work may improve, too, if you stick to your learning style and create graphics instead of standard reports.
Many of those who oppose classroom tech cite its distracting tendencies. While that can be true, it can also foster more engagement for students. With interactive activities, technology provides a modern way to get students of any age involved in the topic.
The future will involve even more technology than the present. Innovations will come out and change the world as you know it. Having students use technology and master it in school can lead to gradual adjustment for when more advanced forms become commonplace.
Teaching students about this field can also prepare them for future jobs where they will need technology to fulfill their roles. An engineer, for example, may operate within high-level technology fields such as technical operations and systems development.
Technology can improve cooperation in a couple of different ways. Student-to-student dynamics can thrive as learners help each other with and through technology adjustments and learning more advanced techniques. Student-to-teacher collaboration can improve, too. Educators can find the best content to engage their students with, and students will respond positively.
Similarly, communication will improve with more technology. Teachers and administrators can use systems and programs to track how students are progressing through the material. From there, they can offer more support to those who need it.
Technology in the form of social media and learning platforms can also help teachers communicate in different, more accessible ways to see how students respond.
With every set of benefits comes some disadvantages. The drawbacks of classroom technology range from pricing to social dynamics. Read on to see how tech can negatively affect education.
Costs and Adjustment
Depending on the school’s size, tech costs require a significant budget and lots of planning. Technological improvements involve stable networks, an on-call IT team and equipment. Additionally, students, teachers and administrators will need an adjustment period as they familiarize themselves with the new systems and devices.
The school may need an IT team for the new tech, but the system also requires advanced security and protection across the board. Student information — as well as their devices — needs secure digital protection to guard it against any potential breaches or threats.
Technology can foster engagement, but it can also create distractions. Students may wander onto sites that are not optimal for learning. It may be hard for teachers or administrators to monitor the sites students use. Website blockers and browser filters can help, but there are no guarantees.
There are many benefits of interacting with teachers and other students. Depending on the extent of the technology used, some schools are entirely online. Many parents want their children to have a socially rich school experience, however, and tech implementation may hinder certain social developments.
The standardized test score debate has multiple strongly opinionated sides. Some believe that too much technology will lower students’ standardized test scores. Others who are pro-tech, however, argue that test scores don’t adequately measure a student’s intelligence or creativity. Therefore, integrating technology may allow better ways for students to express themselves and show their skills.
Examples of Educational Tech in Action
A growing number of cases of educational technology show how students can use it to their advantage. First, tablets are becoming increasingly common. Students can personalize these and take them home, or teachers can hand them out for certain activities. Tablets provide a platform for students to learn with new tools and abilities.
Augmented reality (AR) allows students to step into a semi-real simulation that combines reality with virtual elements. This technology can help visual learners through a challenging learning process. For instance, those who are practicing procedures in medical school can use AR.
Lastly, 3D printing is becoming an increasingly popular tool for schools. 3D printers allow students to print materials they otherwise wouldn’t have access to, which can give them better tools to complete projects with.
Determining the Future of EduTech
After reading this article, you probably have a good idea of what’s in store for future learners. With these pros, cons and examples, which way do you believe technology in the classroom should progress from here?
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