Educators utilizing technology can help advance classroom activities by incorporating individual and group activities. Students are able to communicate with one another online and receive feedback on their work nearly instantaneously. In addition, technology enables teachers to evaluate students’ performance and to improve their lesson plans by interacting with their students.
How Do Teachers use Technology to Improve Education?
On National Math and Science Initiative, Timothy Huneycutt speaks with NMSI expert Jeremy Posey, a mathematics coordinator with knowledge of how technology can benefit students. Huneycutt states that, “[t]echnology can be defined as any tool that can be used to help promote human learning, including – but not limited to – calculators, tablets (such as an iPad), Smart Boards, video cameras, digital cameras, MP3 players, Portable Digital Assistants (PDAs), and, of course, the computer. These are all innovations that have helped countless people during regular daily activities, but they can also have a profound impact on classroom learning.” If teachers allow devices in classrooms, it can heighten the enthusiasm students have when learning course content.
Amy M. Burns agrees that technology is a helpful tool in classrooms. In the article, “Integrating Technology into Your Elementary Music Classrooms,” Amy M. Burns states, “[m]usic technology can be a wonderful enhancement tool in the elementary music classroom when it is used to assist the teacher in differentiating instruction and reinforcing musical skills and concepts.” Technology assists the teacher in using different methods to teach new and varied subjects.
Additionally, Amy Burns explains that “[w]eb site offers also assist the music teacher in differentiating instruction so that students who learn at a quick pace can move on to additional musical skills while other students can focus on mastering the skill being taught.” Technology advances learning by providing students with the opportunity to learn at their own pace without being held up or left behind in a course. Teachers have the chance to track each student’s improvement by looking at their work online.
Serhat Kurt, a professor at Ataturk University in Turkey, held a case study that demonstrates that technology is powerful in classrooms. Kurts’s case study consisted of different methods of utilizing technology in classrooms. In the article, “Technology Use in Elementary Education in Turkey: A Case Study,” he explains that “technology leads to greater cooperation and collaboration among elementary school students.” Technology shows a positive impact on students’ independence and motivation, which allows improvement in classrooms and increased test scores. Kurt describes that implementing various activities in classrooms helps students practice the material.
In the article, “8 Ways Technology Is Improving Education,” Sarah Kessler uses CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education Don Knezek’s data on comparing education with, and without, technology. Kessler states, “[t]echnology is helping teachers to expand beyond linear, text-based learning and to engage students who learn best in other ways.”
Different Views on Using Technology in Classrooms
Technology provides better simulations and models, which can assist teachers in explaining concepts that are too big or happen too quickly to be presented in a physical classroom. As well, “[m]odels and simulations, beyond being a powerful tool for teaching concepts, can also give teachers a much richer picture of how students understand them.” Technology provides teachers with the opportunity to track students’ progress, time spent on each question, and correct/incorrect answers. It provides teachers with the tool to see what students are struggling with as they work on their homework.
According to Bruce D. Perry, an internationally recognized authority on brain development and children in crisis, modern technologies are very passive. In the piece, “Using Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom” Kimberly Moore interviews Bruce Perry on if technology is a positive aspect in classrooms. Perry stated , “they do not provide children with the quality and quantity of crucial emotional, social, cognitive, or physical experiences they require when they are young.”
Perry believes that a developing child requires a combination of experiences of “at the right time[s],” meaning that the child cannot develop optimally because the child is sitting for hours.Perry claims that computers and watching movies have a different impact on learning. When students watch a movie for educational purposes, they aren’t cognitively learning anything. In contrast, modern technologies help facilitate learning in young children by letting them interact and develop their problem solving and independent thinking skills.
This is the second part of this series. For the third part, click here.
Burns, Amy. “Integrating Technology into Your Elementary Music Classroom.” Integrating Technology into Your Elementary Music Classroom. Web. 2016.
Kesseler, Sarah. “8 Ways Technology Is Improving Education.”Mashable. Web. 22 Nov. 2010.
Kurt, Serhat. “Technology Use in Elementary Education in Turkey: A Case Study.” New Horizons in Education. Web. 1 May 2010.
Moore, Kimberly. “Using Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom.” Using Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom. Web.