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What could be some possible pros and cons that might be found in using technology to...

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monique06 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted February 27, 2013 at 12:51 PM via web

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What could be some possible pros and cons that might be found in using technology to facilitate learning?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 27, 2013 at 2:47 PM (Answer #1)

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If the technology being used is also part of the content being taught, then relevancy is one of the major pros of using technology to facilitate learnings. Helping students understand how to use and navigate new technologies will be beneficial in a workplace that is increasingly reliant on technology. 

Also, with this in mind, we can say another pro is that the school environment will better resemble a workplace environment when technology is present. Whether a person works in food services or retail or engineering, some elements of technology are likely to be present. Being accustomed to this through classroom experience can be helpful to students. 

Communications technology also opens up the possibility of sharing instruction and utilizing presentations, information, lectures, tutorials, etc., that are available online. Technology can also facilitate collaboration with other schools or simply let a student sick at home watch classroom lectures from home. 

Some potential cons would have to include an imbalance in the classroom between active and passive attitudes on the part of teachers and students. Using technology in some less than creative ways may lead teachers to defer to the technology instead of relying on their own expertise. Students may, essentially, end up watching educational TV all day. 

Another potential pitfall is alienation. Not everyone relates to technology in the same way and not all students learn in the same way. This means that using technology as a primary tool may leave some students and teachers isolated from the benefits of the experience or alienated by the process. 

Finally, if the use of technology is focused on novelty and not efficiency of instruction the integrity of the educational experience will be fundamentally compromised. Just because something is new does not mean it is good. Just because one tool looks newer and shinier than another does not mean it is the better tool. The focus must be firmly fixed on educational targets, educational ends, and be careful not to be hypnotized by the novelty of "tech solutions". 

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