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Technology in Classrooms: Aid or Adversary

Skyline students often work on Chromebooks in class.

Skyline students often work on Chromebooks in class.

Skyline students often work on Chromebooks in class.

Sujata Gandhi, Reporter

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Discussion boards. Video presentations. Google classroom. These are all things that have begun to replace textbooks and long lectures from a teacher. Technology is a large part of our society− but should it be an extensive part of our classrooms as well? Students at Skyline High School were surveyed on their use of technology in the classroom to discover how students feel about this trend in education.

Why we need technology in school: One of the reasons that some people feel that technology should be used more often in school is that it can help students to study at a pace that is more convenient for them instead of having to learn at a rate that is too fast for them. “Today’s technology enables students to learn at their own pace. For example, almost all apps allow for individualized instruction. Students can learn according to their abilities and needs. This form of teaching is also great for the teacher because it gives him/her the time to work individually with students who may be struggling,” Janelle Cox states on teachhub.com, a blog for educators,  When students at Skyline High School were surveyed on their opinions about technology in the classroom, many students agreed with that.“Let’s say I can’t see the board, it could be on Google Classroom. Or if I miss a day, it is online,” Megan Whiting (9), said.  Without technology, if a student is absent, then the teacher has to take time out of their day to help the student catch up to the rest of the class.

Why technology shouldn’t be used as frequently in school: There are many cons to technology also. “As a result [of technology being used in classrooms], huge amounts of cash have been spent in an effort to deliver countless digital tools to classrooms across the country. Far from abating, the level of enthusiasm seems to increase with every new technological advancement,” Tim Walker said on the National Education Association website. Technology can cost schools vast amounts of money, which can lead to money being spent on technology instead of other programs; it also could lead to tax hikes in the community. Furthermore, some students feel as if traditional methods of learning are being eliminated in favor of technology, and although some students learn better with technology, others prefer to learn with a paper and pencil.“I prefer to use paper because it is much easier for me to keep track of and remember to do,” a sophomore explained.  “Sometimes, online assignments and research is all we do, and it feels like paper is dying,” Taylor Killpack (9), said.

Survey Results:

  • 24% of students surveyed felt as if technology was overused in school. (Of these students, 22% were in non-honors/ A.P. classes, and 78% were in honors/ A.P. classes.)
  • 76% of students felt as if technology isn’t being overused in school. (Of these students, 48% were in non-honors/ A.P. classes, and 52% were in honors/ A.P. classes.)
  • 69% of students, an overwhelming majority, have confessed to misusing technology in class (E.g. going on social media, texting, playing games, etc.)

Essentially, each student, teacher, and classroom is different. What works for one may not work for another. A teacher’s job is to teach the student. Whether this means that the teacher introduces more technology into the classroom or uses old-fashioned pen and paper depends on the class. As long as the student learns to the best of his or her ability and is able to do so in a safe, positive environment, then the teacher is doing his or her job, regardless of how much technology is used.

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Technology in Classrooms: Aid or Adversary