Technology In the Classroom! Is it beneficial to students?
Introduction Critics of technology have raised questions about whether technology is beneficial to the classroom or not. Critics want to know if the cost of software is justified. They say some teachers use it to much, and some teachers do not use it at all. Educational comities are researching, varies ways that teaching will benefit children in the classroom. This includes video games, reading programs, and other classroom software. .
New Alliance To Research Gaming in Math and Science Education. By Dave Nagel Stem: Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics This article is about whether using video games to help teach the STEM classes would be beneficial to students or not. Researchers want to especially know if video games would be beneficial in science. Scientist believe that video games can be used as a learning tool to keep children interested and motivated in school. The issue at hand says John Nordlinger(senior research manager for Microsoft)is that “ little is known about how, why, or even if they are effective(Nordlinger,1). These programs are not cheap and schools are not sure whether they want to take the funding out of their budgets.
Gaming Continued: The research will be conducted on a wide variety of students, but they will pay particular attention to the female and minority population. This is because females and some minority students are underrepresented in both the percentage of undergraduate STEM degrees received and the percentage of positions in STEM careers held. Women account for 20% of all engineering degree recipients at every level. Minorities represent an even lower percentage. This concerns researchers and they are struggling to find whatever they can to help solve this issue.
What I think! <ul><li>I am on the fence on this topic. I do agree that kids love video games, and I even agree that it might motivate the younger kids, but as for middle school kids I don’t know. I tend to think that if the games are boring and they do not have blood, gore, racing, fighting, or some sort of sport, then the kids are not going to care about playing it. To get me to believe that this is going to work, I would have to see the video game being tried out by a middle school group. The other thing that bothers me about this, is the fact that our kids have become a society addicted to video games. Is it a good thing to get them also playing video games at school, which might be the only place they take a break from it? I guess what I don’t understand is why we can’t teach children these subjects and interest them without video games? What can the teachers do to make this better? What can we do as educators to ensure that our students want to come to school? This has to start at a young age. For some reason the kids are getting a bad message about these subjects when they begin school, and they continue through out their school years. I think instead of engaging them in a video game, we should get them engaged with their classmates and teachers, and we should find a way of making these subjects more appealing. </li></ul>
North Carolina District Credits Technology for Reading Improvements! By Scott Aronowitz <ul><li>Definition: Fast ForWord- educational software products to help children learn to read. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers are excited about the fact that children with learning disabilities who used this software, were able to process information more efficiently. </li></ul><ul><li>Nancy Bricker a Fast Forward coach stated “ we tried all the traditional interventions but we were not seeing the progress we had hoped for” (Bricker,2). </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers said that this reading software improves attention span and focus in all their classes, and they have said that it finally sparked an interest in learning. </li></ul>
Technology for Reading Improvements Continued . <ul><li>Teachers began using this software in the fall of 2007, and they say they have seen vast improvements in the children, not only in school, but also in there other school subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>More then 4,400 teachers have reported that their pupils showing improvement in memory, sequencing and rate of processing. </li></ul><ul><li>“ We encourage schools to use the Fast Forword program with as many students as they can said Michael Freeman executive director” (Freeman). </li></ul><ul><li>They tested this software by having teachers use it in their classroom 40 minutes a day five days a week for an entire year. </li></ul><ul><li>52.5 percent of students identified as having disabilities related to reading scored at or above their grade level on the states EOG reading test in 2008 . </li></ul>
My Thoughts! <ul><li>I think that this could be a good tool for teachers to use in their classroom. If this is something that can help a child learn how to read it is beneficial, not to mention the fact that it is helping children with memory and attention span. I think though that forty minutes is an awful long time for a child to be on the computer. I can’t help but ask myself whether or not they are actually learning reading out of a book. Do they still have time to use their reading books? I think that the software is something that could help teachers, as long as they are not using as a way to keep the children entertained. </li></ul><ul><li>I stick by my original statement that I think that we have to be careful how much we use the computer in the classroom. Teachers need to be better trained at how to make their classrooms more interesting to their students. Computers can not become a babysitter that keeps them occupied until the bell rings. We have to stay more involved. </li></ul>
Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum? By Edutopia Staff This article talks about why it is important to integrate technology into the classroom. The education board thinks that it important to update their technology, because most schools lag behind when it comes to integrating technology into classroom learning. Researchers said “ properly used technology will help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy” (Staff,1). The article stated that effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals .
Why Integration Continued! <ul><li>This article talked about how technology changes the way that teachers teach. Teachers believe that technology helps them to reach learners on all levels. Technology also helps teachers to asses students abilities in many different ways. It is important to know that technology needs to be more than basic computer classes and basic software. These technologies while accurate ways of teaching children are not accurate ways of assessing children's technological abilities. </li></ul>
My Opinion! <ul><li>I believe that technology can change the way a teacher teaches. I am just not sure though how much time is to much time on the computer. We can not let things like the computer replace the duties of our teachers. The kids in the upper grades, have around fifty minutes in each class, and to use forty minutes of that on a computer seems unnecessary to me. I am not saying that the technology is not important, or even that it isn’t effective, but I feel like we rely on it to much. I know that when I become a teacher, technology is going to be an important part of my classroom but I want to make sure that I do not use it as an escape from my responsibilities to be an effective teacher. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>It is obvious that teachers and researchers believe that technology is an effective tool that has brought education a long way. There are many different kinds of technology and many different programs that are being used to ensure that education is preparing our children for the real world. My opinion about technology in the classroom is irrelevant due to the fact that when our children get into the real world they are going to have to deal with technology everyday. As a society that relies on technology it is our responsibility to ensure that our children are taught about technology safely and accurately. Therefore I believe that it should be taught in the classroom, but only in moderations. </li></ul>