In this day and age, it is almost impossible to avoid using technology, for instance, smartphones at home, Google Meet, and Zoom for business calls or online companies who provide custom research paper writing services for their clients. It’s the same in the classroom where you will find some form of technology in use, even if it’s just a desktop computer.
The good news is that research shows that having technology in a classroom can actually have a positive effect when it comes to teaching and learning.
New teachers will often be asked how they will include technology in their classroom and this simply highlights that using technology within the classroom environment should improve learning. Recent research does show that there is some truth in this.
However, research does also reveal that schools need to make sure that they don’t just have technology on display and that it’s integrated with effective teaching strategies to ensure the best possible results are achieved.
Changes in the classroom
Technology can be seen in today’s classrooms through different devices and methods. For instance, online learning, computers, social networking games, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Studies have shown that most educators in schools feel that technology has a positive impact on the classroom environment in the sense that it helps students to become more productive.
Research that can be found in the ‘Journal of Research on Technology and Education’ looked at just under 200 studies and discovered that teachers reported that technology helps to improve their teaching practice in the classroom. Additionally, it all so found that students were able to create presentations and undertake research when using information technology.
The use of technology does alter the structure of the classroom and instead of being teacher-directed, teachers are able to set out activities and then play the role of a guide for their students, whilst at the same time being able to monitor a student’s progression.
A new way to learn
At the Massachusetts Institute of Education, research has looked out how social media and gaming simulations could improve the learning that takes place in a classroom. Research reveals that playing games such as ‘ World of Warcraft’ or ‘civilization’ help to improve communication and problem-solving skills.
The research also showed that when programs were used to create simulations for real-world situations, teachers were able to demonstrate difficult concepts.
Using social media in the classroom, however, continues to be a subject surrounded by some controversy. Although students use social media to discuss school work with each other, and it’s been said that social media could even help to connect remote classrooms so that students can research people and places that otherwise may not have been possible.
For many years the classroom always had a blackboard and chalk. However, classrooms these days no longer have chalkboards and even whiteboards are not really seen as all of these have moved over in place of interactive whiteboards which are devices that are connected to the internet.
Teachers can use interactive whiteboards to display content from the internet, show videos, and present lessons. That said, don’t think that these devices are just there for presentations as they can be used to engage students to interact with learning activities and games on the board.
A relatively new device to appear in classrooms, a study has discovered that iPads in class can help to improve literacy performance in tests. Although this is great, other studies have revealed that students may not benefit as much as expected when it comes to academic performance.
Nearly 100 studies have been analyzed and looked at the effect of using computers in mathematics and these studies revealed that there was only a small positive effect when it came to academic achievement in tests.
Educational software will have been tested rigorously and does help students when it comes to practicing particular skills via personalized teaching approaches. Learning programs that are computer-assisted have shown a great deal of promise when it comes to improving a student’s academic achievement, particularly when it comes to mathematics.
Studies have revealed that the statistics have been very positive especially in the subject of mathematics.
Although online courses are increasing in popularity in the field of education, there is not a great deal of experimental evidence, however, the evidence that suggests that using online-only courses has a negative impact on a student’s academic achievement when compared to a face-to-face course.
Using technology such as text message reminders can be very useful, at a reasonably low cost. Text messages can help students and families on a day-to-day basis as they can provide encouragement, tips, goal setting tools, and reminders which all help parents when it comes to student’s learning. For example, remembering to read with their primary age children.
For children who are older, technology provides families with information on how their child is doing at school.
The neurological impact of technology
Screen time and children have always been something that’s often discussed and in America screen time guidelines for parents have been relaxed over the last few years and the recommended usage time has increased.
These guidelines were altered, not down to research, but more for practical reasons. First, the way the guidelines change depending on a child’s age was not captured adequately enough in previous guidelines. The second reason is that technology is a huge part of our day-to-day lives and this has meant that it was almost impossible to live by the first guidelines.
Some studies have revealed that using technology in a learning environment such as a classroom with adolescents and young adults can have a negative impact and lead to hyperactivity, attention deficit, lower grades, and feelings of loneliness. Our brains are not good at multitasking when we are learning and technology requires us to multitask.
Overall it seems that research has revealed that there are some risks and benefits of using technology in the classroom. There are still many questions that need answers and overall the evidence suggests that technology can have a positive effect when it comes to teaching and learning when it is in the hands of effective teachers.