In the modern classroom, technology is unavoidable and often encourage. So today let us take a look at the costs and benefits of this shift and how it should be handled moving forward. Since the rise of the mobile phone, combined with that of the Internet, kids today have access to a wealth of information in the palms of their hands. Parents are allowing children access at a very young age, whether it be to play with their friends online or research homework. But what happens when this enters the classroom? Well, let’s take a look.
Fast Access to Information
The speed of students finding the right information can the astonishing to many teachers. Websites are able to rank themselves well using links packages (reference here), thereby giving students the best information quickly. When students search for a question the teacher has asked, often the answer will be presented by search engines like Google without even having to click through to a website. However, is this necessarily the best option? Could this mean that students no longer have to retain the knowledge, but instead just search for it on every occasion? However, recent studies have shown that with this exposure to more information, students have increased their ability to retain more information for longer periods.
Students are More Connected
With social media platforms and chat apps, students are able to instantly communicate without other students. This has resulted in more integration in the classroom as well as after school finishes. Students can exchange ideas about tasks from school and quickly build their knowledge of a topic much faster than before. On the other hand, there has been reports of social media making bullying and harassment easier for those who wish to undertake such a nasty practise. This has been addressed by the social media platforms themselves as well as the schools and local government in order to stamp it out.
Speed of Learning
Many technology advocates have pointed out that technology has now allowed students to learn at their own pace. This has been encouraged with apps and websites offering custom courses which allows the students to move through the course at a pace which suits them best. Often this can replace the need for parents to hire tutors outside of school time and in holidays as students can use these online courses instead.
More Access to the Teacher
If teachers also become involved in the technology, then they too can participate in the student’s online experience. This gives the teacher the advantage of knowing when a student is possibly struggling with a topic or subject and can step in earlier than when it’s exam time. Teachers can also give faster feedback on homework and assignments for students outside of school time. However, the downfall here is whether the teacher will be compensated for the additional workload outside of their usual hours.
As we have addressed above, technology is playing a major role in transforming the modern classroom. Although there may be some speed humps along the way, we believe it’s here to stay and should be adopted by teachers across the world to help improve their students’ learning.