College Prep. English 4
30 September 2014
Technology Has Increased Learning
Modern times are changing rapidly with new developments in technology. Over time, advancements such as Smartboards, personal laptop computers, online classrooms, video technology, and projecting equipment have been put into action in the classroom. The implementation of technology in schools is very controversial. Some claim that technology is disruptive to the learning environment. On this side, people argue that technology is distracting and useless to students. On the other hand, many believe that technology can actually enhance the learning experience. Those supporting this view believe technology is an effective tool for learning. Research shows that there are a multitude of benefits to using technology in the classroom. Technology enables students to learn more effectively in a classroom setting.
Many people believe that administrators are obsessed with publicity. Therefore, administrators only want to use technology because the new gadgets enhance the school’s appearance. According to high school teacher Patrick Welsh, “It’s technology for the sake of technology—not what works or helps kids learn, but what makes administrators look good, what the public will think is cutting edge” (21). Welsh supports the claim that administrators use their power to use technology just because it makes the school look more advanced. Welsh also suggests that the administrators’ support for the use of technology may not be focused on the education of students. While there may be administrators that are obsessed with publicity, studies show there are still benefits to having technology in the classroom. The United States Department of Education reported in a study that, “when [technology] was being used, students were more likely to engage in individual practice and teachers were more likely to facilitate student learning rather than lecture” (US Department of Education 112). In this case, technology helped connect students to their schoolwork. Therefore, the use of technology can be considered a resource to learning. Not only does technology enhance the image of a school district, but it also allows students to engage in their learning.
Understanding technology and how it works is crucial for technology to show results of educational improvement. Michael Zwaagstra, an education expert and high school teacher, explains, “It should be noted that computer technology is simply a tool and is only useful if teachers know how to use it effectively” (Zwaagstra 51). “ If you can not operate a computer or similar device, having technology in a classroom could waste the teachers time to teach the curriculum. That is because they would first have to learn how to use the technology. Without a firewall or filter on the technology in classrooms, Tim Lougheed explains that technology can become more of a distraction than a helping tool when implemented in schools. He states, “new technology has merely added another dimension to these perennial challenges of classroom etiquette“ (73). Technology can be a distraction in the school setting when used inappropriately. Social media, video games, and other Internet sites can interfere with the class environment. However, schools have the ability to block those features and sites so students cannot access them in class. Technology can access other things than just social media, video games, and non-educational Internet sites, such as school recourses similar to powerschool. Teachers can submit student’s grades online so that, “Parents can log on with a password and monitor their child’s grades, schedule, standardized tests and assignments, and even see if they’ve been tardy or had a discipline problem” (Davis 43). Students can also practice responsibility by monitoring their attendance and grades on their own. Technology makes these school materials available. Those opposed to technology