Is All the Technology in Modern Classrooms a Good Thing?
In recent years, the way we communicate, order food, exchange money, and more has all been reimagined to include technological advances. And, technology has reached the education sector. Companies are creating technology-based products specifically for the classroom, and many schools and institutions are requiring students to use tablets or computers for their assignments. The inclusion of technology in classrooms is constantly increasing. In fact, according to EdTech Magazine, 63% of K-12 teachers report using technology in their classrooms daily.
Is all this technology ultimately beneficial?
Here are three pros and cons to the incorporation of technology in the classroom.
Technology Can Personalize Education–Sometimes
It’s commonly accepted in education that there are four overarching learning styles that include visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading. However, in a traditional classroom, it can be challenging to incorporate all of these styles into lessons, meaning that some students can fall behind. Pepperdine Graduate School of Education & Psychology states that incorporating technology can make lessons more dynamic and personalized to each student’s needs and style of learning. For example, a professor can provide an auditory/visual lecture in class while providing access to a kinesthetic project for interested students to create together during or after school.
Technology Is Creating New Social Problems
A large part of how technology has significantly our daily lives is with communication. Many view technology as a mask of anonymity, especially when people use social media. This unknown can lead to increased rates of bullying and depression.
According to Wake Forest University, 15.5% of high school students and 24% of middle school students have experienced cyberbullying. And, unlike verbal or physical bullying, comments made with cyberbullying don’t go away. Technology can escalate mental issues and can also become worse in teens who are already susceptible to bullying and insecurities. Incorporating technology in the classroom can exacerbate these effects, as students may use class time to spread rumors or bully others while on their devices.
Gamification Can Helps Kids Learn
We all know how addicting games with reward systems can be, correct? Gamification is the idea of applying this rewards-based concept to other aspects of life. A typical example is encouraging people to exercise by having a green ring light up after they’ve met a certain number of steps per day. Gamification can be incorporated into modern classrooms as well. The 1990s built the foundation for educational computer games and has been growing in classrooms ever since. According to the American University School of Education, among 13-to-17-year-old students, only 24% of boys and 11% of girls claim they would like to pursue a degree in STEM. However, games could be utilized to grow interest in STEM fields. For younger children, math-based games where answering arithmetic problems correctly destroys blocks can improve understanding. Similar games can be used for learning languages, as well as potentially motivating students to read more each day, or to helping to memorize concepts.
Technology has been working its way into almost every facet of life. Ultimately, it’s up to each teacher to evaluate whether incorporating technology would be beneficial to his or her students.
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