Few Dispute Value of Technology in Education

Posted on June 5, 2017 by

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Society is based off of technology now. Schools could easily function without paperback books if they really wanted too. Most schools have Internet access available to students and faculty as well as laptops or even tablets, depending on the district.

As children grow up with technology, it seems nearly impossible to get them away from it. While parents may think kids go to school to escape the technological storm, little do they know it follows them.

Certain schools allow children to use their phones, as opposed to the computers. With the advancements in smartphones, students are now able to do more than half of the actions performed on a computer easily in their hands. Just don’t go over the data bill!

Surveys showed that many teachers said technology can be a useful educational tool. A little more than 75% of teachers in the survey said that they see positive results with students’ Internet use, and they see improvement in research skills. On the darker side, 90% of the same teachers agreed that technology is creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans”.

Sixty percent also agreed that technology is hindering communication skills and hurts critical thinking and students’ ability to do homework. Having Internet access in hand doesn’t necessarily show children’s true potential. Anyone can type in a question and scroll, but are they able to answer it without help?

Technology is a powerful tool that can support and transform education in many ways, from making it easier for teachers to create instructional materials to enabling new ways for people to learn and work together.

“It is endemic in society now, at home young people will be using technology, there’s no way that we should take technology out of schools, schools should be leading not following,” Mark Chambers said.

Teachers using the West Virginia Basic Skills/Computer Education  program found that all their fifth graders’ test scores rose on standardized tests, with the lower achieving student scores rising the most. Forty-eight states use statewide tests to assess student performance in different subject areas. Last year alone, an estimated ten million students nationwide participated in a state-sponsored testing program that required them to write responses longhand.

Paper-and-pencil forms of these tests may yield misleading information on the capabilities of students who are accustomed to using computers. Large differences were evident on the language arts tests. For students who could keyboard moderately well (twenty words per minute or more), their performance on the computer was much better than on paper.

Some say that they believe technology improves test scores, yet others disagree. The impact is mixed at best. Students who use computers moderately at school, such as once or twice a week, have somewhat better learning outcomes than students who use computers rarely. The results show no appreciable improvements in reading, mathematics, or science in the countries that had invested heavily in information technology.

“We’re preparing our children for jobs that don’t yet exist,” John Morris said.

Digital literacy helps students navigate the workforce and college, as well as fostering their creative thinking and problem solving.

With the integration of educational technology in school curricula, students not only navigate through the educational timeline with a knowledge of technology but also learn how to use it, which translates to more success in the workforce.

In  a survey completed by almost 1000 college students, the majority agreed that technology in high school helps them prepare for college and moving forward in the workforce.

Posted in: Rayanna Celmer