What about the existence of a site like this? Are we encouraging kids to use technology to cheat? Can't they come on here and ask test questions and get answers and many instructors will consider that cheating? There are just so many questions about the use of technology that don't get answered in most classes or that aren't even asked by most people who push for the integration of technology into the classroom. Personally I think a student should be allowed to access any resource possible, just as they would in the workplace or on their own time. But certainly other teachers would disagree.
I posted this here because I think it highlights a difference between using technology to help students learn and using technology to "teach" students.
I don't know if I feel that technology will encourage people to go to school. Right now they don't need encouragment as they are compelled by law to go to school. I generally think that it might make it more bearable as they can often use technology to make the days go by faster, but for kids that aren't interested in what is happening at school and aren't benefitting in the form of a path to college or other perks that some of the better trained and better prepared students get, I don't know that technology will really act as an incentive or whether it should in terms of motivating them to get out of bed and head to school in the morning.
I think all of your ideas are good. I see technology as really helping students; and I have an 11 year old son so I can see it everyday. He is very interested in learning and we use technology at home to help him get interesting stories and news, so he can experience learning in a positive way.
However, on a more negative note, what I see at my job is that many students who don't have an educational ethic stay away from computers; and unfortunately, they seem to be affected by that stupid street culture. I notice a few of them from my school where I teach outside on the streets quite late at night, not too far from my apt. building. (If I go out to pick up a video I see them.) They are only in 5th or 6th grade. I am thinking: what can a child that age be doing out at 9 or 10pm at night on a school night ? And what kind of parents would let them out at night unsupervised ?They are dressed in their Rap clothing, and acting like they are waiting for something to happen.
Maybe media technology using Rap culture videos and games could be used to get these kids interested in learning. I think it would be worth a try. They really seem to be interested in Rap.
The most destructive aspect of the digital divide is that it hurts those students who most need access to computer technology at school. I think it would be a reasonable assessment to say that the great majority of students in wealthy schools have access to computers at home; most--or at least many--have their own computers. In poor schools, however, many or most students have no access to computers except at school or a public library. It's a terrible educational irony that those students who need technology access the most are those who are most frequently denied.
I think all of these are very worthwhile and valuable posts. The only note of slight dissent I can voice is that the proliferation of technology has to be applicable to all students. If technology is embedded only in the wealthiest of schools and most affluent of school districts, it could have an adverse effect of involving more students in the educational process. If this "digital divide" is not addressed, than students who really need to be involved in the educational process wih the use of technology will be further shut out, causing disastrous consequences. In a setting where economy contraction is becoming a stark reality, all attempts should be made that this does not apply to technology in all school districts.
Technology reaches the students who fail in "traditional" sit-and-get classrooms. My M.Ed. is in Curriculum and Technology. I also teach for a university that focuses on the integration of technology in the classroom (K-12). Technology allows students who are not "traditional" students to convey mastery of state standards in non-traditional ways (i.e. powerpoint presentations vs. book reports). Technology allows students who are too ill to come to school to get an accredited education. Technology also allows students with exceptional needs to be able to participate in the general education curriculum though accommodations.
For more information, these are a few really good websites regarding technology in the classroom:
Technology is a huge draw for young people. Studies have shown that any kind of technology in a classroom automatically raises students' heart rates, indicating increased engagement. SMART boards and other technologies are revolutionizing teaching.
Credit recovery and other asynchronous study programs are already being used to help students who need to catch up with their peers. Colleges and universities have long understood the value of distance learning, and high schools are starting to catch on.
The future is now!! Technology has already has a significant influence on the educational system. When I think of the way my students learn as opposed to the way I learned when I was in school (less than 10 years ago), it blows my mind!!
I can remember being in the 5th grade and first being introduced to computers. Twenty years ago if someone told you they had a computer in their house, it was a big deal. Now, you can walk into just about any big box store and purchase a computer for less than $1,000. Think of the advantages that students of this generation have over other generations.
Many students learn in classrooms where there is at least one computer. When it comes time to research for a project or essay, there is no need to spend hours in the library surrounded by reference books. Just log on to enotes.com or any other reference search engine and everything you may have wanted to know about a particular subject is readily available to you.
In my classroom I have a SMART board. This peice of technology allows me to make my lessons totally interactive. Who needs a projector or even a television when I can just embed a hyperlink into my PowerPoint presentation? Click on the link and my students are watching a scene from Romeo and Juliet.
Living a busy life is no longer a reason to put off going to school. Colleges and Universities all over the country are offering degree programs on line that allow students to go to school and complete assignments at their own pace. Things like this are a Godsend to professionals who have demanding schedules, parents with small children, or individuals with disabilities that have a difficult time getting around.
Technology aids the student to re-discover a world gone flat, where there is a wealth of information and communication at the tip of their fingers, literally.
If you check out Classroom 2.0, you will join a community of educators who have integrated technology cross-curriculary.
As for me, I skpe with my students using the iPod Touch initiative, and I use the smartboard to do wordsearches and grammar trees. My students learn to line down fractions using computer applications, write their diaries, do budgeting, and become creative.
Most importatly, technology is imperative in the use of researching skills, not only by using the internet, but also by having the student figure out how to use the technology, explore the usage, and figure out future applications. It is a work in progress that will only get better.
Technology will be able to encourage young people to go to school in various ways - whether or not it will succeed is another topic.
One way is online education. Some students drop out of school before graduation because of various factors, such as the need to work and support their family, pregnancy, boredom in school, or behavior/disciplinary problems. These students might be encouraged to "go to school" if they could take their classes online from home on their own time, rather than having to attend a structured school day.
Another enticement is the way that technology can enhance learning and make it more fun for students. My son is in kindergarten, and he loves being able to use the Smart Board in his classroom. I have also heard of teachers using technology in fun ways, even including video games in discussion of plot and characterization, or using a Wii Fit program in a gym class. The ability to learn how to use this technology is also a draw for students - as we incorporate more technology into our assignments, students will be more enticed to come to school and learn about these things.
I don't think technology will encourage young people to go to school because the influence of technology is more like a distraction rather than a incentive for young people to go to school. What i think young people (like me) are looking forward to is a school with a good and welcoming environment where we can go to school without any draid in the morning.
Technology doesn't encouage people to go to school. It may but it's more of a person's determination and if they are willing to actually learn. Teachers have been using more of technology to teach the students though.
I see technology influencing education in following three ways.
- Increased payoff from education. As technology develops, its total impact on the the life and well being of the society increases. Therefor, the value and earnings of people who can apply technological knowledge will increase with technological developments. On the other hand, as technology is used to develop equipments and methods to further reduce the drudgery of physical work, the demand for jobs not requiring technical knowledge will diminish. Thus people with better technological knowledge will be better off financially. This would create motivation for people to become better educated. This phenomenon is very prominently visible in India, where demand for admission to institutions imparting management education has grown in geometric proportions by the lure of well paying jobs.
- Technological development also cover improvement in methods of education. With improved methods people will find studies more interesting, and will be able to get more useful knowledge in shorter time and with less effort.
- As technology makes education more critical for welfare of society, the technology can also be applied to create greater motivation for people to get educated. Here we must remenber that technology is not just machines. Technology also covers development of knowledge about human behavior.