This week we are going to talk a little about technology in the modern day classroom.
To say the classroom looks a bit different from roughly 18 years ago when I started school is an understatement.
Gone is the chalk, chalkboards, big ass TV stands from the stone ages and paper & pencil.
In are White Boards (some interactive), laptops, iPads, online textbooks and any other possible technological gadget you could ever imagine.
It is quite the swing from what the norm was for us millennials and our parents.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of tech in the classroom these days…in my humble opinion:
Your hand no longer feels like it is quite literally about to fall off from writing so damn much. Whether it is during a long lecture or writing out a long essay on a test, we have all been there.
Similarly, from a collaboration standpoint, having tech available in schools just makes work easier. Take editing something for example. Instead of having to erase a bunch of words on your paper, now you can just click backspace. Want to research something? You can do it right there during class without having to stroll over to the library.
Efficiency, flexibility, and communication have all drastically improved thanks to tech… and just in time too for this recent pandemic we find ourselves in. Thanks to the available technology, class can now literally be conducted online. If you’re sick, all the information of the day’s lesson can be found on the class website. Have a question for a teacher about the exam tomorrow? Just shoot them an email or even video chat them. Want to work with a friend and collaborate on an assignment but you aren’t in the same location? FaceTime them or send a photo over text. None of this existed just a short time ago. Now it is all at our fingertips.
Real world prep. The classroom these days is a lot like the actual American workplace is today. Chaotic. Collaborative. Communicative. By utilizing tech inside and out of the classroom, we are undoubtedly preparing our students for the real world.
Cheating. Cheating has been going on since God created Adam and Eve. Unfortunately, it has become a hell of a lot worse since technology has increased. Before the rise of tech in the classroom, people had to cheat by writing something on their hands or with a little note. These days? Just take a peak down at your Apple Watch to check the time. Perhaps you are lazy and didn’t do last night’s homework? Shoot a text to your friend to send it over to you. While I do not advise cheating, it seems that it will inevitably always occur. Certainly on homework. There just simply is no way to stop it. However, I do believe that schools should strive to minimize any sort of technical aid during exams to prevent any temptation of cheating.
Not paying attention. If you try and say you haven’t been there, you’re lying. School became a hell of a lot more fun for me midway through high school after it was announced that we were able to use our iPads to take notes. Sure, I took a note here or there… but mainly was watching sports or texting with friends. Are administrators not aware that a tablet (or even laptop these days) has virtually every capability as a smartphone does? As big as a pain in the ass as it may be to write out notes, I am for it. In fact, oftentimes in college I elected to do so on my own. The distractions are just too many with the internet at your fingertips.
Less human interaction. In a previous article I voiced concern that perhaps we are slowly losing the ability to interact with one another. Screens have started replaced interpersonal communication. This seems as if it will only increase. There seems to be no turning back from this, but it is worth reminding yourself whether it is inside or outside of the classroom that it is important to connect with others face to face. Too much of technology can be no bueno.
I don’t really know. I would argue that both the pros and cons have solid points to them. And we know what is going to happen.. tech across the world and in the classroom will continue to skyrocket. So perhaps the best solution is going about it in the most responsible way possible by enhancing the pros and doing our best to eliminate the cons. Thoughts?
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