Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Technology in the Classroom

There have been several people who have asked me "What does technology in the classroom really offer? Don't most teachers just use technology in the classroom as a means to entertain and or stay in touch with their audience?!" Ok, so, sure I have my biases (technology in the classroom is not a trend, nor is it simply a good thing to do for efficiency reasons, it's a must because it provides students tools to problem solve, critical think, learn more in depth, do more effective research, express their creativity, provide them access to a greater spectrum of information and knowledge, get them involved in the international community, etc.), but a recent article in the USA Today outlined the exact reasons why technology is needed in classrooms. The article reported several detrimental issues found in elementary schools that I believe can potentially be solved by integrating a few educational technologies. For example, here are a few quotes from the article, where I feel, had the schools/ teachers been using (or had access to technology) the learning environments and teaching performances would have been more effective: "The typical child in the USA stands only a one-in-14 chance of having a consistently rich, supportive elementary school experience ... they found just as many signs that classrooms can be dull, bleak places where kids don't get a lot of teacher feedback or face time... Fifth-graders spent 91.2% of class time in their seats listening to a teacher or working alone, and only 7% working in small groups, which foster social skills and critical thinking. Findings were similar in first and third grades... In fifth grade, 62% of instructional time was in literacy or math; only 24% was devoted to social studies or science... About one in seven (14%) kids had a consistently high-quality "instructional climate" all three years studied. Most classrooms had a fairly healthy "emotional climate," but only 7% of students consistently had classrooms high in both. There was no difference between public and private schools." If you don't know how, or don't believe how technology can rectify any of these issues please contact me - I would be more than pleased to talk to you about the detriments of only teaching "Reading, Writing, and basic Math" sans technology.

1 comment:

pjforbes said...

This was a very interesting article. It made me think about my classroom and how I am fostering a learning community that is engaging, where students work together. In the past I have tried to do more group work but find that it was to chaotic. I think that is my issue not theirs. I need to set some boundaries around teamwork and then let them practice until they get it right. I also believe whole heartdly in using technolgy in the classroom.