Over the last few years, a discussion has taken center stage for educators and academicians alike: should we use and integrate technology into the day to day classroom curriculum? While the perceived ease of use and other advantages are quite clear, several arguments against the use of tech in class can also be raised, which makes this a fence-sitter. You can, however, have a look at these pros and cons yourself and decide where you stand on the matter.
Why It Makes Sense to Integrate Technology into the Classroom
Better Teaching and Learning Methods: Educational apps make learning a lot easier and also a lot more accessible for students. They can learn at their own pace, access forums and a whole lot of tutorials at the click of a button. Adaptive learning apps change the level of difficulty based on students’ performance. Students are able to go beyond their curriculum and discover more about topics they like, and also undertake different approaches towards studying the same material, which may suit them better.
Real-time Information Updates: In today’s internet age, data is more accessible than it has ever been before. Special stress must also be put on just-in-time learning or real-time learning, which means an update once posted can reach any and all internet-connected devices almost instantly. Rather than sifting through gigantic textbooks or resource libraries to search for relevant information, it makes much more sense for students as well as their instructors to have access to all relevant data in a matter of seconds, enabled by technology.
Further, test evaluation patterns of students can reveal particular areas of weakness for each student and through an automated interface could fetch relevant reading material or tutorials for the same, rather than having them go through the whole thing again, most of which they know already.
Enhanced Analytics Reporting Capabilities: Several enhanced platforms and apps are optimized for employing in an educational setting, and allow teachers to access analytics and specific information personalized for each student, ranging from attendance to test performance and co-curricular activities. Endowed with this power, teachers can monitor performance a lot better, be it individually or in groups, make necessary provisions for improvement, and also share data easily with guardians.
Assistive Technology: This deserves a special mention as these systems truly make education accessible to everyone. Students with special needs don’t need to feel left out anymore, as they have access to a host of apps ranging from screen readers to adaptive word processor apps, translators and a lot more.
The Downside of Using Technology in the Classroom
Teachers’ Replacement:This is a point which has been raised again and again over the years. Teachers fear that if we let technology take over, there will soon come a time when there will be no need for a teacher in the classroom, thus wiping out an entire sector of jobs. Technologists and pioneers still argue that tech will never be able to replace the human element or the warmth that a teacher’s presence can provide, for example in a day care school students will always prefer a human support as they look for assistance and advice. That said, every single sector, from industry to agriculture has been revolutionized by technological automation, and manual labor is slowly but steadily disappearing from these fields altogether, so these doubts may not be altogether misconstrued.
Distraction:This is one of the primary concerns for teachers as well as guardians, as they fear students will spend more time on social networks and games than they will on academics. This has also been noticed with college students who use laptops in class.
Plagiarism Becomes More Prevalent: With everything being digitized, accessing and sharing content is a matter of seconds. With that, the threat of plagiarism becomes a lot more potent than it ever was. From simple matters like homework assignments to serious matters like entire dissertations or research papers, it becomes hard for teachers to track plagiarism. There are, of course, tools to detect the same, but this implies an extra amount of effort from the teacher.
There are some privacy concerns like security and sanctity of the exam system or the marks databases, but most systems are sound in that aspect. Tech classrooms may not be easy to implement in areas which still have disparity when it comes to internet connectivity. Even if the classroom is connected, students without internet access at home would not be able to access resources or submit assignments.
The debate is never-ending. Technology would give children of today unrestricted access to resources their parents and grandparents could only have dreamed of, but at the same time, the flaws in the system are also fairly blatant. It is up to institutions to decide whether the good aspects outweigh the bad, and if this leap of faith is really worth it.