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Technology in the Classroom: Helpful or Harmful?

Technology in the Classroom: Helpful or Harmful?
Kids gravitate towards technology—if your child heads straight for the video games or Facebook after school, you know what we’re talking about. With a world of information at their fingertips nowadays, it seems like kids should be finding it easier than ever to succeed in school. However, as more classrooms invest in the latest technology, test scores remain the same, bringing its effectiveness into question. Technology and Teaching “Incorporating technology into the classroom requires a double innovation,” says Shelley Pasnik, director of the Center for Education and Technology, Educators who receive new technology must first learn how to use the equipment and then decide whether or not it supports the class objectives and curriculum. For example, an instructor may restructure a lecture into a group activity, having students conduct online research to boost their understanding. Technology also makes it easier to spend more overall time on learning. Maximizing Your Child’s Tech Time Related:  using tech in the classroom

Blended Learning: Making it Work in Your Classroom Kristin: I can say that the things I've been doing the last two years have really made a difference, because my kids have scored the highest in the State on the standardized tests. So what we're doing here is working, and it's helping them be successful. Julie: We define Blended Learning as the combination of digital content and activity with face-to-face content and activity. It sounds easy to Blend, but it really, it looks very different in every classroom. So if a teacher is using something that works really well in a face-to-face situation, they should continue to do that because it works well. Kristin: What I have online could be completely different than what the biology teacher has online, or what the physical education teacher has online. Mickey: Okay, go ahead get the laptops. There are three activities. Student: C. Mickey: C. Shelton: I've like probably learned more today just by doing this than I have the whole week that we've been doing this. Class: Yay! Kristin: All right.

Quiz: How Millennial Are You? Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Summary | researchreportsedu Prensky states that the students in our classrooms are much more different than the people who are in front of the classroom teaching in terms of how they learn and the ways in which they are able to take in information. He gave the two different groups of people different titles; digital immigrants, and digital natives. Immigrants being those people who were not born in a time when technology was not readily available to use at all times and have had to learn over time how to use it. As compared to now, when the use of technology is readily available to the children born, the natives. Another main point that Prensky makes is that there needs to be a switch in the way in which educators teach because students are losing out due to the “old fashioned” methods of teaching which are still being used today. One final point that Prensky makes is that digital immigrant teachers are able to reach digital native students with some work and effort. Prensky, M. (2001). Like this: Like Loading...

The Use and Abuse of Technology in the Classroom This article was also posted on the kinderchat blog. More and more primary teachers now have access to technology in their classroom. Whether it is an iPad or an iPod touch, a desktop or a laptop, a growing number of teachers are either being given access to this technology by their school boards or bringing their own devices to class to help students to learn. Because of the multitude of choices and opportunities that technology enables, this is a positive development. I have been concerned, though, by some of the ways that I see technology being used. Having access to books does not mean that the students in my classroom will learn to read. In the same way, having technology in my classroom does not mean that my students will discover how to use it as a learning tool. Technology Abuses Technology should not be used as simply a digital worksheet. Technology should not be used as a way to keep students occupied. Technology should not be used to do what can be done without it.

Reaching Rural Schools: Technology Makes Learning Possible No Matter the Zip Code The one-room schoolhouse has become a quaint symbol of our country’s pioneer past. But while most American school districts have undergone dramatic growth as they enter the 21st Century, there are still many districts in small rural communities that are—in true pioneer spirit—doing what they can with what they have. More than half of the nation’s school districts are located in rural areas with one-fifth of all public school children enrolled in rural schools served by nearly 740,000 rural schoolteachers (23 percent of the nation’s public school workforce). According to a November 2011 report by the U.S. Small Districts. Small districts and communities tend to have small budgets, making modern and reliable district-wide technology initiatives a challenge for many of these regions. Rural school districts must also contend with a lack of information in addition to lack of resources. Going the Distance Here is what some other states are doing to provide technology to rural schools:

Rural Schools In America Fight To Bridge Digital Divide This piece comes to us courtesy of The Hechinger Report. YODER, Colo.—Surrounded by farmland and ranches, Colorado's Edison School sits off an unpaved road, with tumbleweeds blowing across its dirt parking lot. As recently as a few years ago, many families relied on solar or wind power instead of electricity; today, many still haul home their water from wells. Principal Rachel Paul estimates that 25 to 30 percent of her students don't have Internet access at home. Yet at Edison—where about three-quarters of the 120 K-12 students are eligible for free- or reduced-priced lunch—there are as many computers as there are students. Frank and administrators in the two-school district, located an hour east of Colorado Springs in Yoder, Colo., have big technological ambitions. It's not about improving test scores—last year, every single one of Edison's elementary students was deemed proficient on the state's math exam. "Kids don't have access to that kind of stuff at home," Frank said.

A New Understanding of the Digital Divide As an urban teacher whose students are often lacking access to a computer and the Internet at home, I have strong opinions and experiences with the digital divide. I decided to do some research to see where my students fit into the current trends. What is the digital divide? If you ask most people to define the digital divide, most of them would answer that it has to do with those who have access to technology and those who don't. So what does this all mean? We are looking at a completely different kind of divide. Another group that is often left out of the conversation are Americans with disabilities. Most of the reports about the digital divide center around racial and socio-economic differences (a 2010 study confirmed that household income is the greatest predictor of Internet use). What are some solutions? As the studies suggest, the problem isn't access, it's the kind of access. States also need to invest in broadband infrastructure to bring broadband services to rural households.

Ashley Brown
The effectiveness of technology would have to depend on what kind of technology you're talking about. Things like smart phones and I-Pads are very contriversial and can be debated on whether or not they actually aid in the education process. Technology like smart boards and ELMOs that were mentioned in the article can actually help the instructer be more effective in getting their lessons across to more students. I agree that we shouldn't have to depend so much on technology to do the work for us but the same technology enbales students and society as a whole to move forward and be more productive. by abrown55 Jan 10

Anna Truong:
I would have to agree with rigo. When we were in grade school and middle school, all we had were the basics. We only go to the computer lab ONLY if the teachers think we really need it. I think kids now a days aren't really TRYING to figure out problems by themselves. They seem to depend on technology 24/7. But in college, it gets challenging so we depend mostly on technology to help us seek answers. by truong725 Jan 10

Breaunah Jacobs
I think that technology has its pros and cons but when it comes to education, I think that there are more cons than pros. It can make you less eager to solve a problem on your own and more inclined to just google it or find the answer somewhere on the internet. I especially dont think it should be incorporated into education when a child is really young. by breaunahjacobs Jan 10

Clayton Vining
Anymore when a student is faced with a problem, the first thing they do is grab some piece of technology to solve it for them. But technology can also be helpful, like with classmate communication. by cvining1 Jan 10

Rigo Alvarado
I feel like kids now a days rely to much on technology. yeah it can be helpful but it can also be harmful. I think in grades K- 5th grade they should stick with the basics! They rely to much on technology to help them figure out answers. What happens if a computer breaks, or your smartphone doesn't work. by ralvarado12 Jan 10

John Gundersen
The title of this article says it all for the topic. Is the use of technology helping or harming a childs education? Does it cause them to rely on technology too much such as in the case of mathematics, do they understand what it is they are solving or do they just get an answer from a calculator? by gundo86 Jan 10