For many years, educators have been trying to integrate technology in education. There have been great strides in this integration for the last 20 years, but it is also bound to face a lot of challenges in the future. The paper will look into the impacts of integrating technology in the classroom, by exploring the benefits and detriments associated with this integration including discussion, conclusion, and recommendations.
The incorporation of technology into the classroom remains a divisive matter. Researchers and educators argue on the utilization of technology as either a detriment or a benefit. Most researchers believe that a proper implementation and support of technology can help in empowering and exciting teachers and students. Effective technology use can help improve thinking by engaging students in authentic and complex tasks in the context of collaborative learning. In a recent study, students who operated under computer-based instructions in the achievement tests scored in the 64th percentile while the ones under non-computer based control conditions scored at the 50th percentile (Polly, Mims, Shepherd, & Inan, 2010). However, critics postulate that no valuable research support the claims of technology being useful in schools.
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If technology really promotes meaningful learning, then why is it hard to integrate it in the classroom? It appears that there is skepticism on it being a hindrance to learning because students cannot write or read. Therefore, proper training is necessary to eliminate this skepticism. In addition, educators should learn how to utilize technology as a tool for supporting collaboration and communication. This section will provide an account of the existing relevant literature regarding the incorporation of technology into the classroom.
This section will provide a discussion of the possible benefits of incorporating technology in the classroom. The benefits include:
When students utilize technology to support communication with others, their roles change. They take the active role rather than taking the passive role of being given information by the teacher.
Increases Motivation and Improves Self-Esteem
There is a universal agreement that technology use increases motivation among the students. It has been reported that students who are less creative when tackling regular academic assignments perform better when they use technology.
Increases Cooperation with Peers
Teachers have reported an increased collaboration among students when they use technology, which has promoted peer tutoring. The increased collaboration results from students working in pairs or small groups because of the limited availability of computers in schools.
Increases the Use of External Sources
Technology use encourages the use of external sources in academic tasks, since students can get access to several online sources, and therefore, they are able to obtain up-to-date information.
Improves Design Skills and Attention to Audience
Students can find out how their peers react to the projects they undertake in class. They can also pay attention and get feedbacks on an idea posted online, while examining how the audience takes it (Crook, Harrison, Farrington-Flint, Tomás, & Underwood, 2010).
This section will provide a discussion of the possible detriments of incorporating technology into the classroom. The detriments include:
The main barrier to integrating technology in education is funding. Some study found that 72% of big school districts admit they find it difficult to provide internet access in their schools. Around 1/3 of the districts refer to hardware as their barrier, whereas 16% refer to software as their barrier.
Lack of Training
A research indicated that 43% of the interviewed district leaders rated the competence of new teachers in incorporating internet into their instructions as "average." Moreover, 31% rated them as "expert," while 26% rated the teachers as "novice" (Ronau, Rakes, & Niess, 2011).
With the current civilization, most people have increasingly become accustomed to calculators, televisions, telephones, automobiles, airplanes, computers and mega-malls in their lives, whether at school, at work or at home. It is evident that technology is part and parcel of the current society, being quite new, but just like most innovations, it is bound to stay. Computer literacy has been a prerequisite for many office positions as well as managerial positions. Recently, the same has also been suggested as a requirement for the teachers.
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One major problem that has emerged due to increased technology use in schools is the inadequate training of teachers in relation to computer literacy, knowledge, and expertise. Hence, many teachers training colleges and state governments have made technology courses mandatory for a teacher to graduate. The next step after making computer training a prerequisite for teachers is to design the courses in such a way that students at all levels of computer knowledge can learn and perform better than their current levels (Guzman & Nussbaum, 2009). This section will elucidate the steps to be taken in the incorporation of technology courses into education programs.
Technology should not be discarded, since it plays a vital role in supporting the basic skills acquisition. Technology use adds value in the sense that it inculcates high thinking skills among students, boosts student motivation, enhances learning and teaching, and finally, improves student achievement. There is need for measures and actions for technology to be effectively integrated in the classroom. This section will sum up the major points discussed in the paper.
Government should directly persuade the public to support the integration of educational technology. Teachers should be respected in order to succeed in reversing the negative attitudes towards incorporation technology into education. Schools should have an increasing concern for integration of technology in the classroom. The awareness and attitudes of shying away from integrating technology in education is simply shortsighted. Furthermore, the public should be mindful that their actions and attitudes towards this integration are important to the education world. Awareness creation is vital in workplaces to help in effective incorporation of technology into education. This section will discuss what should be done in order to implement technology use in the classrooms more effectively.