How Technology Is Influencing The Classroom

The advantages to education offered by technology are clear, and it is no surprise, therefore, that more and more schools across the country are jumping to integrate these technologies into their institutions. The paragraphs below describe the ways in which technology is utilised today for educational purposes, and the possible advances that will be brought by way of this technology in the future.


Technology Today
Today's technology includes not just computers in each room of the school, but more cutting edge items such as SMART Boards and tablet computers. Some schools may even have dedicated virtual learning environments and lesson recording equipment to keep students up to date and on top of their studies. Many teachers are making more and more use of online media to give a new life to their lesson plans, and some are even venturing into the world of smartphone and iOS apps. The iPad is building momentum in the classroom and becoming a huge hit due to its intuitive user interface coupled with the wealth of apps available. Technology is playing a major part in every child's education today, shaping and enriching the way in which they learn.

Pros and Cons

Many schools report the positive influence of technology on their students, and this is likely due to several related factors. The wide availability of materials for their education helps students to become more motivated towards their studies. The interactive feedback and differentiated instruction systems included in many educational packages also help to provide an enhanced experience to students, structuring an environment in which there is no fear of judgement or ridicule for an incorrect answer, and therefore motivating them to learn. Resources which are tailored to the particular subject being taught also contribute to reinforcing a child's learning experience since the purpose built software is capable of presenting the information in the correct way and at the appropriate speed.

Some, however, believe that the higher expense and training time required for modern educational technologies outweighs any possible benefit they can have on the class. Schools in poorer communities, or even poorer countries, may have serious trouble scraping together funding for just one computer with internet access, never mind an extensive computer network, SMART Boards in every room, and an iPad for each student. Most educational technology is still prohibitively expensive, meaning that developments leading to reduced costs are required before the use of technology is really able to take off. Some also contest that the use of technology will diminish the need for a teacher to be creative and enthusiastic about their lessons, leading to a generation of numb and uninterested children. This can, however, work both ways, fostering a renewed injection of enthusiasm and burst of creativity in both the teachers and children.

The Future of Technology In Education

As technology is improving at a staggering rate, it will inevitably begin to play a larger and larger role in the classroom. Paper thin screens are the most exciting possibility, offering the chance to essentially fold up the vast knowledge of the internet and pop it in a pocket. This may be a dream for the more distant future but, in the short term, tablet computers are set to become a much more important component of the classroom. In addition to the tangible improvements in technology, we can only imagine the advances brought about by cloud computing and virtual environments.

Technology is an inescapable part of life today, and children are being exposed to more and more of it as new developments are made. The advantages and disadvantages of this must be considered, though, if we are to do right by our children and enable them to make the most of their education.

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