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Technology and Schooling

There is no doubt that in the last ten years technology has been on its greatest rise. Once merely used as a tool for businesses and corporate offices, the Internet is a vast part of technology that is expanding yet condensing at the same time. In recent years, technology has made advancements within laptop and handheld computers, IPods, cameras, and cell phones. Because of this, in homes and most importantly schools, technology is being used as one of the biggest tools in everyday learning. An article titled Handheld, Wireless Computers: Can They Improve Learning and Instruction? states, “There has not been much systematic research to investigate the effects of these new technology tools on student attitude and learning outcomes, nor has there been much research evidencing that handheld, wireless computers can improve student engagement in the learning process” (Mahnaz Moallem, 2006). Some researchers are currently testing the use of technology and how it affects teachers and students during daily instruction. Many wonder what exactly technology will be able to further bring to the table in our schools, but also ponder the limitations of it and realize that technology can easily malfunction. With this in mind, the question I ask the most is in what ways could technology be used in schools to adequately satisfy the needs of students and teachers at the same time?

When pondering the effects of handheld and wireless technology in schools, there are many points which favor its use. First, the fact that the technology is wireless makes it easily accessible. At any point in the day, if a lesson plan doesn’t go accordingly or an activity doesn’t work well with a particular class, teachers may then go to the school computers without difficulty to correct their lesson mistake by having their classes visit various curriculum-based websites on the Internet. Also, if the technology being used is actually handheld and/or wireless, it may be taken anywhere. Without the trouble of visiting a computer lab, teachers are able to actively use these technologies in the comfort of their classrooms. Another factor that goes into effective use of technology in schools is communication. With email and instant messaging more available now, teachers may more easily and quickly communicate with administrators, students, and students’ parents. Being able to correspond with school officials, parents, and students so frequently and easily, teachers and schools are becoming more informed at all times. Without the use of technology there would be no definite way for our school’s to improve.
Just as there are advantages to handheld technology in classrooms, there are also some disadvantages. Some critics complain that technology can easily malfunction which often causes a breach in communication. Being unable to correspond with peers on a school day can be very difficult for all involved. If there is ever a serious situation that occurs in these times, it may be handled badly. One other problem with technology in classrooms is that too much use of it can overwhelm students. Technology, in moderation, is essential.
While there are pros and cons to these issues, some arguments balance each other out. In classrooms, technology may help teachers when lesson plans don’t go accordingly, but the problem with this is that teachers then may encounter further problems with the technology they use. Though the technology may easily malfunction; it may also be easily set up again. Also, when technology may not be working, communication may be hard to do with peers, but doesn’t completely cut off conversing that may need to be done. With all these factors considered, I believe teachers may be able to achieve a classroom which includes connectedness with students, active learning, feedback, easier social interaction, new learning environments, known expectations of students, and self-monitoring.

Overall, I believe technology can be extremely helpful in educational situations. Technology can speed up the learning process by great times and is also much easier to follow. While we are all aware that technology may easily go wrong, usually there is a quick way to fix whatever glitches have affected a situation. As long as technology is used frequently yet moderately in schools, I do not see it affecting today’s students in a negative way. As a teacher, I plan to incorporate many activities which include all sorts of technology in my lesson plans. I believe my students need to see what the rest of the world is using and realize that technology is not going anywhere. To me, if used, technology can become a vital tool in all situations of life.