Teachers in today’s schools need to be aware of the uses of educational technology. This lesson explains both the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in the classroom.
Technology in the Classroom
It was my first formal teaching observation at the college level.
I was excited to teach a very interactive lesson that would engage my class of 22 students by incorporating a wide range of technology supports. As I was entering my classroom ten minutes before class began, a student walked in with me and said, ‘Have you heard? The Internet is down today in this building.’ My heart dropped into my stomach as I wondered how I was going to salvage my observation lesson.I think it is safe to say that many teachers have felt the panic of technology-gone-wrong in their classrooms before. When it is working well, technology (tools such as computers, the Internet, or other mobile devices) can support student learning. Although technology can cause confusion when there is a technical problem, it can also support a rich learning environment filled with student engagement and unlimited information.
Before integrating technology into the classroom by adding computer devices and other technology tools to the learning environment, teachers need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages so they can be fully prepared to handle unexpected issues or questions from parents or administrators. In this lesson, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using technology in the classroom.
Advantages of Using Technology in the Classroom
Benefits for Students
Prepares Students for the Future: It is without question that students will need to know how to use technology to communicate and collaborate in their future careers. Almost all jobs use at least one form of technology, so students need to be comfortable using it.Increases Student Engagement and Motivation: Technology allows teachers to engage and motivate students in new ways, like taking students on a virtual field trip to other parts of the world.
Provides Current Information and Wider Access: Technology gives students the most current information available. Electronic textbooks or web-based content can be updated in real-time. Classrooms can connect with other classrooms around the world to broaden their learning.Supports Collaboration Skills: Students can practice collaboration skills by working in teams on projects using shared documents or conferencing technologies. This allows collaboration to happen outside of the classroom or between classrooms in different locations.
Benefits for Teachers
Improves Instructional Delivery: Teachers can design student-centered lessons by allowing students to take an active part in the lesson. Classroom time can be spent with students asking critical questions and engaging in creative problem-solving.Supports Differentiated Instruction: Teachers can use technology to meet the individual needs of students.
Specific programs, apps, or websites give teachers the options to offer content to students at different levels, allowing students to access material at their own pace.Supports Universal Design for Learning Practices: This means that teachers need to make sure all students can access the material being presented. Technology offers tools, such as voice recognition, volume control, or word prediction software, that can support struggling students.Immediate Formative Assessment: There are many apps and programs available to allow teachers to assess their students in order to obtain real-time assessment information on their students.
This allows teachers to make needed adjustments to the lesson.
Disadvantages of Using Technology in the Classroom
Challenges for Students
Distracted Attention: Technology can be a distraction for students. Teachers may have a hard time keeping the attention of their students when the lesson does not incorporate technology.Safety: Students may access content that is inappropriate or communicate with others outside of the educational environment.Fewer Face-to-Face Interactions: Some people worry that using technology in schools gives students fewer opportunities to practice face-to-face interactions, which may hurt their social skills.
Challenges for Teachers
Costs and Time: Technology has its costs, and the constant updating of software and programs can make it hard for schools to continue funding it. It also takes time to learn new software or programs.
Technology Issues: Teachers using technology must always be prepared for when the technology is not working. A lost Internet connection or glitch in a device can cause a lesson to go awry.
Clearly, there are many advantages and disadvantages to using technology in the classroom. Although technology can open up new opportunities for learning, teachers should be aware of some of the drawbacks as well in order to make informed instructional decisions for their students.
Once you are done, you should be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages for students and teachers of utilizing technology in the classroom.