Student learning is an area with enormous potential to benefit from information technology. Information dissemination is, after all, a core strength of today’s technology. And technology offers versatile platforms to streamline classroom teaching.
While technology unlocks innovation opportunities, blended teaching and learning are not without disadvantages. Debate is still going on concerning the potential downsides of integrating technology into classrooms.
Let’s look at both sides by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of students accessing computers and digital information.
Pros of Technology in the Classroom
1. Access high-quality, current information
Modern technology is fantastic when it comes to making information available to everyone. In a classroom setting, getting the most up-to-date data helps ensure the best educational experience. Teachers are also able to use or direct students towards trusted sources to ensure accurate information.
2. Student performance metrics
A clear and powerful advantage of using technology in the classroom is that it allows teachers to perform their job better. For one, platforms that use data analytics can pinpoint the areas where each student is having most difficulty. Performance information allows you to quickly adjust teaching strategies and the syllabus according to the data you’ve gathered and analyzed.
3. Learning technology skills
Using technology in the classroom naturally increases the opportunities for students to learn technology skills. While it’s possible to take all but the simplest IT skills out of a lesson, keeping some technical challenges in there for students is healthy. After all, we live in a digital world and have things like virtual offices and working online from home.
For example, you can give students freedom in how they present project results. The smart ones, who could perhaps become IT professionals in the future, will find and deploy internet resources, such as graphics or charting software, to enhance the presentation.
4. Improved student participation
Students generally love technology and introducing it is a way to boost engagement. You can also apply technology to get more information from reserved students.
If you need to ask the opinion of everyone regarding a topic or even a simple question, why not use an online polling platform? This way, even quiet students who normally wouldn’t want to speak in the classroom would be able to participate.
Online platforms are often flexible in allowing you to exercise your creativity. You can, for instance, customize quizzes to make them more engaging and competitive. The possibilities are limitless.
5. Automate repetitive tasks
Teaching can include tedious tasks such as keeping track of attendance, recording quiz scores and noting tasks completed. With the present technology available, such tasks can now be fully automated. This can unlock time teachers are able to divert to substantive teaching endeavors.
Highlighting the Cons
1. Issue of speed
While the lightning pace with which technology operates may seem like a clear benefit, experienced educators are actually wary of this aspect. Gadgets and learning apps are able to function faster than the corresponding learning speed of the human mind.
Normally, proper and coherent cognitive thought takes time. Otherwise, engagement can be drastically reduced. It’s for this reason experts are suggesting we modify media use, such as how videos are presented, to slow down and allow for more rumination and contemplation.
2. Technology can be distracting
Gadgets like laptops and tablets in the classroom are bound to become sources of distraction to students. This is especially true if the devices don’t limit access to apps unrelated to lessons, quizzes, and other educational activities.
A need exists for appropriate restrictive measures on gadgets in the classroom to ensure they further learning goals and aren’t used, for example, to play games or use social media for pure entertainment. You can be sure that some badly behaved students will always try to use technology for fun instead of the intended purpose.
3. Less direct social interaction
The apparent way in which technology excises social interaction is another cause for concern. Students have less need to verbally communicate and interact with their teachers and with one another when using technology. To address this, classroom teachers should ensure activities such as oral presentations, recitations and group work happen regularly.
4. Lesson planning complexity
While technology could make the job of a teacher very easy in the future, we are not there yet. Devising effective lessons using digital technology rather than traditional methods can be challenging and time consuming. That’s why it’s important for educators to share their insights on how to effectively teach kids when there is technology in the classroom.