So, I need to talk about the idea of tech in the classroom; I have a very complicated view on this subject. In my opinion tech should only be used in the classroom after the teacher feels comfortable with the equipment and is ready to monitor the students’ activity online, and is able to do so. I feel the younger children would have less need for vigorous monitoring as they would be using basic tools and applications, as opposed to the older students who use it on a daily basis. Thankfully for me I am aiming to teacher the younger years where you will need to be very active in helping your students reach the website or game and learn to use it.
When you plop a laptop or tablet into the lap of a 13-year-old student they will be off onto their own sites faster than you can say “be safe” or “be smart”. I think that when used correctly, and introducing active learning through technology you could have a huge success on your hands. However, I feel that when leaving kids to their own devices to search the web it can be opening the floodgates into a whole world of possibly unexplored territory for the teacher. When high school students have access to the online world they can access anything they want by the clicking of a few buttons and a few cleaver searches.
On the other hand, Technology ushers in fundamental structural changes that can be integral to achieving significant improvements in productivity. Used to support both teaching and learning, technology infuses classrooms with digital learning tools, such as computers and hand-held devices; expands course offerings, experiences, and learning materials; supports learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; builds 21st century skills; increases student engagement and motivation; and accelerates learning. Technology also has the power to transform teaching by ushering in a new model of connected teaching.
I love the possible benefits of technology in the classroom but fear the possibility of my students gaining access to inappropriate or illegal things. The possibilities for success and failure are endless. I think that if students are taught the basics of digital identity, how to be safe on a computer, how to understand what they are doings, how to be safe and responsible and how to be smart online technology would be the greatest gift to the school system. The first step to success in this world is understanding, comfort and appreciation. After that the rest can be learned over time with the help of many other tech-savvy responsible digital citizens.