Hello everyone. My name is Tamara and I am going to discuss with you the need for technology in the classroom.
The use of technology in classrooms is an important factor that needs to be addressed. Growing trends and research prove that technology can be an important part of meaningful educational instruction when it is implemented properly. Here is a brief overview of what I am going to focus on today: positive findings in classrooms that use technology, how technology effects students and how it makes them feel, scholastic achievement outcomes, strategies for teachers so they can be successful when they use technology, collaboration uses and benefits with technology, the individualization technology offers, and finally, how technology prepares today's students for the future. First, I would like to discuss some positive findings with classrooms that implement technology.
I am going to read you a quote from Antionette Harvey‐Woodall “Research shows that traditional methods of teaching can no longer be utilized to capture the interest of children who are being reared during the rapid growth of the computer age. As a result, the use of technology can serve as a catalyst for helping teachers understand individual learning styles of the children they teach.” (Harvey-Woodall, p. 3) Now think about what technology has to offer. Think about when you go on the computer. What are you doing? You are seeing, listening, and interacting. The computer is just the tip of the iceberg. There is an abundance of applications we have on a computer but we also have iPods, flip cameras, digital books, the list goes on and on. Students no longer have to sit at a desk and listen to the teacher lecture, then open their textbooks and read the pages that are in front of them. They don’t have to get out a pencil and do the workbook pages. If students have access to technology they are able to explore, create, move, and be excited that they are actively learning. The Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) found that technology has a positive impact on student learning. Over a course of 5 years they studied 5 schools that used technology. Through the use of computers ACOT wanted students to be able to take initiative, perform long-term projects, have access to multiple resources, and take part in cooperative learning. Though these actions ACOT found that students’ attitudes were positively affected. The classroom teacher also didn’t do as much formal lecturing. Also, the experiences required students to use higher level reasoning and problem solving skills. (Schacter, p. 5) This all happened because students were able to explore, search using technology. They didn’t have a teacher standing in front of them giving them the facts, they were active learners. With the right combination of teacher guidance and instruction and technology students will be able to become more successful learners. Successful learning brings me to my next point.
I would like to discuss how technology affects students. It is important that students come to school excited to learn. If a child has confidence that they can succeed, then they are more likely to be happier entering a learning environment. We discussed how technology addresses different learning styles. When students are being taught in a way that interests them and helps them do well they have a greater feeling of success and self worth. When a student can use technology to independently create a piece of work, help them discover the big picture, or assist them in their studies, they are going to have a greater feeling of success and self worth. When a teacher is excited to help students use technology and can transfer their knowledge on to their students. The teacher’s positive attitude will also transfer to their students leading to a positive feeling towards technology and less frustration. These three components all lead to a students greater feeling of success and self worth. Next, let’s look at scholastic achievement outcomes.
Data shows that technology improves performance scores on tests. Technology can improve students’ scores in math and reading. It also benefits students across the whole spectrum, in grades K-12. Through extensive research it has been proven in multiple studies that students in technology rich environments have a positive outcome and increase in achievement for all major subject areas. (Schacter, pp. 5, 6, 7, 9) In an article I read, How Does Technology Influence Student Learning? , there was a experiment performed with mathematics. A school used a software tutoring program as a part of the regular curriculum. It focused on real-world situations and the use of computational tools. The study showed that students who used math software outperformed comparison classes by 15% on standardized tests and 100% on tests targeting the curriculum-focused objectives. (Burchett, Cradler, p. 48) The software alone didn’t make the students achievement scores increase. It was the combination of the teacher’s instruction and the ability to smartly use the software to enhance their lessons. Before we move on I want to tell you a very interesting statement that I read: according to West Virginia’s Basic Skills/ Computer Education Statewide Initiative their program using technology was more cost effective than reducing class sizes, increasing instructional time, and cross age tutoring programs. (Schacter, p. 6) They were able to show an improvement in academic success and all it took was technology. Next let’s look at 9 strategies teachers can use to be successful.
Why am I showing you strategies that teachers can use with technology? I am showing you this because I want you to know how teachers can use technology to benefit our students. I am going to touch briefly on five strategies. First, teachers can improve student learning by having students identify similarities and differences. Tasks of this sort include comparing, classifying and categorizing ideas or objects. With technology students will have a wealth of information at their fingertips to help them. Second, summarizing and note taking can be enhanced with technology. Students must filter information and summarize what they read to find what will be of the most use to them. Note taking is like summarization because the student needs to find the key information and be able to condense it. Third, cooperative learning can easily take place with the use of technology. Projects can last from a class period to an entire school year. They can include the students within the classroom or around the world. Fourth, nonlinguistic representations is a way to present material without words. With technology students are able to learn through graphs, drawings, and other visual means. Fifth, generating and testing hypotheses lets student experiment with different options to discover the answer. Technology offers a window to never ending information. Students use their critical thinking skills to sort out the information and make connections. These five strategies are a small sample of the tools that teachers can use. I am going to focus on one of these strategies a little more. I want to take a closer look at cooperative learning.
Now I want to focus on how technology creates the ability for students to reach out past the classroom walls. Think back to your school experience. How did you learn about the rest of the world? How did you learn about different cultures? Technology gives students of today an exciting way to connect to cultures throughout the world. Collaboration using the Internet is a powerful instructional strategy. It helps build global and multicultural understanding. Students in our classrooms are able to communicate and share their experiences and knowledge with others around the world as well as gain valuable knowledge. Students would have the opportunity to explore the differences and similarities between a variety of cultures. Students would be exposed to many additional learning opportunities. There is an unlimited amount of ways that students can learn together. Students would be able to interact with students of the same age as well as older students. Or perhaps they could mentor younger students. Not only does collaboration offer opportunities with other students but with adults that can enhance students learning experience. This process would be easy to initiate due to the vast amount of applications available. There are many interactive programs available that allow students to share whiteboards, documents, and communicate while seeing each other, live or prerecorded. This is only a very small list of how students can collaborate. Now that we talked about collaboration and working with others, I want to discuss how technology offers individualization instruction to students.
When a student has access to technology applications it is able to provide additional support to the student. Students are able to work through lessons at their own pace. Perhaps they advance faster than other students or maybe they need an little extra support. Technology offers the supplementary attention to students individually or with the help if the teacher. With technology applications students are offered immediate feedback. Students are able to see right away where they need support or be able to receive advanced instruction. Not only can students receive support with the technology but they also receive up-to-date content to help them learn. Students will have access to new strategies to help them personally advance in their studies. Lastly, I want to talk to you about the future of our students who have the opportunity to use technology ion the classroom.
When students have access to technology in their school they are gaining valuable skills for the future. In the real-world computers play an integral part in society. Whether it is a job in sales or an office job, workers interact with technology. It is not only people in the workforce that come into contact with technology, people every day are corresponding via email, reading a book or newspaper on their digital books or readers, downloading applications on their iPods, scanning QR codes with their phones, and on and on. Technology in schools offers an introduction to a variety of applications. More commonly used applications that are used in the classroom as well as in the real-world are word processing, spreadsheets, computer aided drawing, and so on. When students are able to have familiarity with these applications early on they feel more confident and prepared in the future. As I said earlier technology builds problem solving and critical thinking skills. It also allows for collaboration and creates a global understanding which is a powerful asset for employees. Technology helps build a strong student that is prepared for the real-world. Today I have discussed ways that technology benefits students’ education. It enhances students positive attitude towards learning, dramatically improves academic success, provides students with additional opportunities that go beyond the classroom walls, gives students more individualized instruction, and benefits them in the real world. It is an investment that students can use throughout their lifetime. I hope you see how investing in technology in the classroom can have a profound positive effect on a student’s education, opportunities, and life.
Brabec, K., Fisher, K., & Pitler, H. (2004). Building better instruction: How technology supports nine research-proven instructional strategies. Learning & Leading with Technology. Volume 31. Number 5. Retrieved from http://www.mcrel.org/pdf/educationtechnology/9713IR_BuildingBetterInstruction.pdf
Burchett, R., Cradler, J., Freeman, M., & McNabb, M. (2002). Unit 3: Effectiveness of Instructional Technologies . Learning and Leading with Technology. Volume 29. Number 8. Retrieved from http://draco.mnstate.edu/moodlefall11/pluginfile.php/84/mod_resource/content/4/Unit3F2011/index.html
Courville, K. (2011). Technology and Its Use in Education: Present Roles and Future Prospects. Online Submission. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED520220
Harvey-Woodall, A. (2009). Integrating Technology into the Classroom: How Does It Impact Student Achievement? Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED505984
Schacter, J. (1999). The Impact of Education Technology on Student Achievement: What the Most Current Research Has to Say. Santa Monica, California: Milken Exchange on Education Technology