I am a teacher and I love my job. I walk into my classroom everyday and remind myself how lucky I am to be doing what I love to do. Recently, a lot of schools have increased the amount of technology that students use and are exposed to. This has largely been a topic up for debate between administrators. Should every student have a computer? Should we teach things such as coding or application design? Do students really need these skills? In the education field, these are questions that I hear on a weekly basis. It seems like a constant battle between paper and computer.
While some might not agree, I fully support the use of technology in the classroom. I do understand the potential complications of overuse of technology, however, that’s why I think it’s even more important to incorporate technology in the classroom. Our world is constantly becoming more technology oriented and we need to teach our children how to use technology safely. By teaching about and using technology in schools, we can encourage our children to use technology safely and appropriately. In addition there are a lot of jobs that require students to have technological skills. We need to prepare our children for the future workforce because quite frankly, most future jobs will involve using some sort of computer.
One of the biggest arguments I’ve heard lately is whether schools should provide every student with a computer. In my school, every student has a MacBook and I think it’s been a wonderful experience. Did it cost the school? yes, it did. There’s no denying that technology can be expensive, however, after only a year of installing the MacBooks, tests score went up and learning has appeared to become more engaging for students. Students have been able to do things such as make videos, make animated cartoons about class topics, and learn basic coding skills as early as the first grade. The things that students can do when they are provided with technology are unending and amazing! Just last year, we had a student take her video for a National History Day presentation to the national level. Students who might never have been able to afford a computer now have the opportunity to learn the same skills as other students. As a bonus, we even saved thousands of dollars on new textbooks.
Some potential concerns I’ve heard about providing students with technology is that students will no longer pay attention in class and that we can’t trust students to take the technology home. As for students not paying attention in class, since technology has been incorporated more, much of the learning has become hands on for students. Very little time is spent lecturing. Students are usually engaged in making projects about particular topics or there’s some sort of group discussion going on. When students need to listen to something, they simply don’t use their laptops unless it’s for the purpose of note taking. Students know the consequences for inappropriate computer use, so most of the time they choose to use the computers appropriately. We stress the importance of caring for the technology and teach students how to properly maintain their devices and keep them safe. Before a student is even allowed to take the device out of the school, a parent must sign off. We realize that things can happen and thankfully we have teachers who are able to fix most computer issues for free or little cost.
The bottom line is that we need to prepare students for the future and we can do this by teaching them how to use technology. We have the ability to make learning exciting and relatable and I don’t see why this shouldn’t happen.