It’s crazy to think how quickly technology is evolving and transforming every day life. After only being enrolled in EdTech for almost a full week, I have already been in complete shock. For an assignment, I had to watch videos and read articles pertaining to technology in education. In comparison to a typical classroom set up that most of us (meaning 90’s kids and older), today’s classroom is a whole new world. Students now have access to iPads and iMacs, where most of us were used to three or four desktop PCs in our classrooms. Students still sat at their own desks, but instead of pens, papers, and textbooks, they only had iPads and laptops. Amazing, right?
I must admit that after watching “One Transformed Classroom” and the “One to One” Videos, I think technology is definitely important to incorporate into the classroom. Students can work together and be excited to do partner work when sharing an iPad, instead of a paper. Incentives are now more interesting because students want to use technology. I never thought that “Words with Friends” would be used in the classroom as a way to teach students how to spell. Students are able to become creative and customize the background of iPads in order to distinguish which iPad is theirs. Not only that, but the use of technology allows students to have some freedom. Students don’t have to be told what to do after they complete their classwork. Instead, they are able to play games without even realizing that they are learning.
Most, if not all students had positive feedback in regards to using technology in class. Students are able to communicate with their teachers via email in all aspects, whether it is emailing the teachers questions or emailing teachers assignments that they completed in class. Students are able to complete assignments, especially writing assignments, quicker than ever because they can not type their entries during class instead of writing them. Students are able to type daily journal entries on their laptops instead of in a paperbound notebook. Also, students have easy access to looking up useful information, like definitions of words, or different lighting techniques in digital photography. In digital photography class, students are able to upload pictures onto their computers and get to work immediately, instead of developing photos in a dark room. With the laptops being easy to carry around, students are able to complete all assignments at any given moment.
In the video, the teachers all seemed to have positive thoughts in regards to the technology as well. One teacher mentioned that technology “opens the world up” to students and allows them to access anything on the Internet, especially with updated information from all over the world, which is particularly important for social studies classes. It gives students a chance to be “a part of the real world” by connecting with people from other countries or with a United States Senator! The teachers felt that teaching styles have not changed, but instead technology has allowed teachers to stretch themselves and develop more creativity. Teachers have seen improvement in their students’ work because technology has allowed students to “learn by doing“, like creating movies about a particular topic instead of writing a paper!
There are many ways that teachers have incorporated and differentiated their classes because of technology. Students are able to incorporate science and math by using graphing applications and digital equipment on the computer to experiment the temperatures of different colored paper. Teachers have begun using “expeditionary learning”.
As you can see, technology has transformed the typical classroom that we are all used to. It has been almost three years since I have been in high school, and there has already been drastic changes to the curriculum due to technology. Instead of using computer labs, computers on wheels, or the library, students now have access to iPads and iMacs in the classroom! No more limited time on classroom desktops, most schools have enough computers and iPads for all students. I never thought how important and useful technology could be in education.
I must admit, I have mixed feelings about the overpowering of technology in education. I’m actually nervous that I won’t have a job one day because technology will take over teachers, if it hasn’t already. Yes, it does give students more freedom to explore their creativity, but it also takes away from the personal interactions teachers had with their students. As a future math teacher, I’m amazed at all the applications that can be used to help teach math by the amount of games offered online. But how much longer until teachers don’t exist?
Is technology becoming the soul source of education? I sure hope not. I guess I’ll have to decide that for myself as a teacher, and not let technology take over my classroom completely.