There is no turning back the hands on the clock—technology is not everywhere you turn, including inside classrooms. Today, tablets, computers, and smart boards are standard academic materials, even replacing textbooks and other print materials. But what are the consequences of this shift?
Here, we look at some of the primary benefits and drawbacks of technology’s constant classroom presence. Whether you’re a parent of a student or a teacher, it’s essential to understand tech’s role in modern education.
Technology has the potential to draw students into a subject and hold them there longer. Educators can find creative, unique ways to do their jobs with endless possibilities at their fingertips.
Many apps and platforms today can make learning engaging and increase the retention of information. Take Learn to Win, for example. This app makes it easy to create unique training modules that educate through interactive games and lessons. When used correctly, technology can positively impact how invested people are in the learning process.
Preparation for the “Real World”
Technology isn’t going anywhere. We live in a digital age, and the education system must equip young people to navigate this modern world. From typing to coding and everything in between, using technology in classrooms sets kids up for success later on in life.
Think of all the high school and college students who have completely shifted away from taking notes by hand. Computers are readily available in academic settings, often encouraged or even provided by the institutions. It’s hard to escape this trend.
But studies of preschool-age children show that handwriting notes is superior to typing when developing reading and writing skills. Expert sargue that writing by hand has cognitive benefits, enhancing the ability for recognition and recall. In essence, evidence suggests handwriting is incredibly significant in the learning process.
Can Cause Distraction
Gone are the days of folding paper notes in class and secretly passing them when the teacher faces the chalkboard. Now, students carry small computers in their pockets that allow them to talk to anyone, anywhere. Students can easily hide phones in their pockets and send text messages, often without even looking at their screens.
Learning requires sustained focus and engagement. This concentration is hard to achieve when constant vibrations and notifications pull your attention away from the subject at hand.
Tech can also make it harder for students to focus on academic work outside of the classroom, as social media or video games distract them from studying. While education-enhancing technology has a place in the classroom, extraneous devices wreak more havoc than they help.
Evidence suggests that active engagement with technology can have positive implications on adolescents, but passive use has some less-appealing consequences. In essence, the specific way we interact with technology significantly affects the outcome.
When used in a balanced and intentional manner, technology can encourage engagement, foster creativity, and increase access in educational settings. Bringing tech intentionally into the classroom requires figuring out what works and what doesn’t and creating classroom policies to prevent issues such as distraction and diminished retention.