In the perfect classroom computer technology like Smart Boards, smart phones, and laptops would be accessible by all students whenever they required them. Technology in the classroom is a tool for learning, just like a dictionary or a desk.¹ A peer using a coaching model with other peers enriches the technology experience for those more timid with new technology.
Many schools do not make technology a priority due to restrictions and a lack of funding. Creative school administrators can find funds through approaching school councils and making a case for technology.¹ Some staff members believe that the Ministry of Education should take the burden of paying for technological advancements. Additionally, some staff members feel that externally raising funds for new technology sends the wrong message to the government and the public.
Many students may not have access to technology in their homes or have access only when technology is available at school. For example, some students do not possess sufficient reading skills to understand print in their grade seven history textbook. Software like Kurzweil, a text-to-voice program, can remove that barrier.¹ This type of software should be available in every classroom but is often only available through special education services.¹
A growing number of teachers are bringing iPads and iPod touches into their classrooms. One teacher is quoted saying that, “Technology should not just allow us to do things in a more engaging way; it should allow us to do new things that we thought were not possible."² Having technology in the classroom does not mean that students will discover how to use it as a learning tool. Instead, technology has to be carefully selected and structured to be truly educational.²
Technology should be used for accessing what was once inaccessible. Classroom-ready videos and sharing sites such as Pinterest and Twitter can help teachers reach students in more creative and effective ways. Young children can share their learning using drawings, images, blogs, video, and digital portfolios.² Sharing students’ work allows the involvement and support of parents, grandparents, and anyone who sees their work.
2. Cassidy, Kathy. Primary Preoccupation. The Use and Abuse of Technology in the Classroom. Retrieved May 21, 2014, http://kathycassidy.com/2013/01/05/the-use-and-abuse-of-technology-in-the-classroom/
Image source: Wikimedia Commons