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The Benefits of Technology in the Classroom

The Benefits of Technology in the Classroom

As someone who was born in 2000 and began attending school in 2005, I have witnessed many advancements in technologies such as laptops, tablets, and smart boards in classrooms. I vaguely remember any of my teachers ever using a chalkboard to teach a lesson. The use of technology in schools will only be increasing in the future. The use of technology in the classroom will benefit students in many positive ways such as having equal learning opportunities, letting students learn at their own pace, and overall preparing students for the future starting in a classroom setting. For these reasons, professors should allow students to use laptops in the classroom. 

 Although laptops should be allowed in the classroom, some people feel as if technology has a negative effect on students. Susan Dynarski, author of “Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.”, argues that the use of laptops distracts students from learning the information being given and therefore results in lower test scores. Dynarski states that “Students in the classrooms with laptops or tablets had performed substantially worse than those in the sections where electronics were banned”. On top of this, she explains that electronics distract students and their classmates around them and therefore contribute to lower test grades. However, there are multiple benefits to learning with technology that outweigh the few negatives. 

Laptops help students by letting them learn more at their own pace and retain the information being given to them. Dynarski said it herself, “After all, with laptops, students can, in some ways, absorb more from lectures than they can with just paper and pen. They can download course readings, look up unfamiliar concepts on the fly and create an accurate, well-organized record of the lecture material”. In addition, if a student is too nervous or embarrassed to ask a question in class, they can just simply look up the answer on their laptops or tablets. Not only can students learn the material given, but also seek extra help online at their own pace and time. According to Capella University’s blog, “5 Reasons to Incorporate Technology into Your Classroom”,  “Students can learn at their own speed, reviewing difficult concepts or skipping ahead as needed.” Also, being able to have easily accessible online folders and drives that you can share and have access to at any time is convenient. This is all part of the learning process, and it is made easier with the use of technology in schools.

 Technology is also useful in the classroom because it makes an equal learning opportunity for everyone, especially disabled students. In Katie Rose Guest Pryal and Jordynn Jack’s article, “When You Talk About Banning Laptops, You Throw Disabled Students Under the Bus”, they disagree with Dynarski’s negative approach to technology in classrooms. Instead, Pryal and Jack explain the benefits of laptops, specifically the positive effects it has for disabled students. The authors begin by explaining the universal design for learning, which is, “Developing classroom practices that work for all students, including those with disabilities, without singling out any student for special accommodations or requiring a student to ask for special help,” (Pryal and Jack). This is how all professors should run their classrooms. While disabled students are already at a disadvantage in a learning environment, banning laptops may add to this already difficult process. Depending on what university, course or professor you are taking a class with, some require a letter of accommodation (LOA) for students to be able to use laptops in their classroom because of a disability.On top of that, not only are the students denied access to laptops, it is a process to get permission from the university, especially if the student does not already have certain accommodations. For a student who “Doesn’t have the medical documentation required to get university-level accommodations, the task can be next to impossible to complete before the end of the semester: the academic testing alone takes time (weeks to months) and exorbitant amounts of money (often thousands of dollars)”, (Pryal and Jack). When forced to ask a teacher or university for special accommodations, this can make them feel more embarrassed or not willing to ask at all.To avoid this whole situation, laptops and electronics should be permitted in the classroom.

Another reason for technology to be implemented in the classroom is because it not only helps students in the classroom but outside of the classroom as well, preparing them for the future. In the article “Putting Learning First With New Tech Tools”Monica Burns states, “Digital tools let students collaborate in new ways, question the world around them, connect their work with the world, create products that demonstrate their understanding, and wonder about new topics they encounter”. All these new innovative ways have made projects more interesting, enjoyable, and appealing. Personally, I have used Google Docs to work with my classmates on projects inside and outside of the classroom. It has been convenient to be able to work on my assignments anytime I need. This is beneficial because “Students can work together as they dive into new content and apply what they’ve learned in the classroom” (Burns).  All of this prepares students for the technology-based future we are headed towards.

As these examples demonstrate, technology impacts students in a positive way. Whether it helps disabled students, allows students to work on material at their own pace and time, or just simply provides information right at your fingertips, the benefits are far greater than the disadvantages. Technology being implemented in the classroom is the right idea. All professors should be implementing technology in their classrooms because it benefits the students in positive ways. 

 

Work Cited 

 

Burns, Monica. “Putting Learning First With New Tech Tools.” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, www.edutopia.org/article/putting-learning-first-new-tech-tools.

Dynarski, Susan. “Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 22 Nov. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/11/22/business/laptops-not-during-lecture-or-meetin....

Pryal, Katie Rose Guest. “When You Talk About Banning Laptops, You Throw Disabled Students Under the Bus.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 28 Nov. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/when-you-talk-about-banning-laptops-you-thr....

“5 Reasons to Incorporate Technology into Your Classroom.” How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist? - Psychology Frequently Asked Questions - Capella University, www.capella.edu/blogs/cublog/benefits-of-technology-in-the-classroom/.

Image by NESA by Makers via Unsplash

 

 

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