Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Over the years, opinion on technology has shifted significantly, especially when concerning classrooms and schools. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the general idea was that technology only joined the classrooms to appeal to children, while bearing the risk of higher cheating rates on tests and assignments. During the lockdown, when schools transitioned into distance learning, a new perspective showed up, which inspired the idea that technology teaches students responsibility, encourages engagement, and improves learning.
Many new resources have become available in the past few years which help significantly in the classroom. They give the ability to work remotely on projects, to be able to work on assignments whenever and where ever a student chooses. This allows them to choose their own learning pace, making school more enjoyable and getting more out of the curriculum. David Goodrum, Director of Academic Technology and Information Services at Oregon State University says “Digital education is generating new learning opportunities as students engage in online, digital environments and as faculty change educational practices through the use of hybrid courses, personalized instruction, new collaboration models and a wide array of innovative, engaging learning strategies.”.
We can’t, however, only look at the good side of things. Introducing technology poses risks such as increased distraction, and reduced encouragement for social interaction. Technology access is not always equal for all students, creating another issue of leaving out some people from the core curriculum. Cheating has never been easier than now, having access to knowledge beyond understanding, creating issues for teachers.
Some programs could limit the previous concerns. Programs such as Proctorio and Honorlock monitor student computers, reducing the risk of cheating and could help teachers see what their students are lacking in understanding to better adjust the lessons. There are some benefits outside of school, too. Having a designated tablet per student teaches the responsibility of valuables and how to properly take care of them. It also prepares them for their future careers which most likely will be related to computers.
For every innovation, there will be drawbacks and risks. Acknowledging those risks and knowing how to either improve the product or avoid the risk is part of the process of innovation. A school is a place that should encourage students to learn, and if technology is the medium that helps best, perhaps we should learn the full story to decide.
“6 Pros & Cons of Technology in the Classroom in 2021.” Top Hat, 13 May 2021, https://tophat.com/blog/technology-in-the-classroom-pros-and-cons/
Wicks, David. “Should Technology Be Used in Schools?” SPU Stories, 11 Apr. 2017, https://spu.edu/stories/articles/technology-schools/
Chuck, Brad. “10 Reasons Why Technology Is Essential for Schools.” Academia for Education, 6AD, https://academia.co.uk/10-reasons-why-technology-is-essential-for-schools/