As an aspiring teacher, I have spent much of my time volunteering in classrooms of all types. When I began to spend time in different classrooms, I was always excited when the children had an opportunity to spend time in computer labs, or even get to use the school laptops. The children always seemed so excited and they could not wait to start using technology to guide their learning. But as time went on, I began to see more technological integration in the classroom. At first I was completely stoked because I saw the possibilities that could come from having an unlimited amount of information at the student’s fingertips. Though, my excitements were soon squashed when I started noticing more students on social media, than were actually paying attention. After class that day, I approached the teacher and told her about what I had observed in the class earlier in the day. She was not at all surprised and said that she had been struggling with that problem all week. I had asked her about whether she was going to start limiting the time spent on these devices. To my surprise, she said that she couldn’t discontinue their use because they were given to her with the directions of using them for a large percentage of the day to “stimulate education”. Stimulate education? If a child is spending their time checking-in to see what their peers are doing later in the day, how is that “stimulating education”?
When looking around the world today, you are pretty much guaranteed to see somebody playing on their phone or on the internet. It’s just what we do, our lives consist of constantly checking up on old friends with the use of Facebook or asking our parents questions by texting them. Without the means of communication that we have been given in recent history, I think that most individuals today would become lost. I know I would be, I spend a good chunk of my day browsing Facebook and YouTube, and also using FaceTime to chat with my little brothers back home. But the question that I am posing right now is, when will technology become too much of an integral part of society and begin to replace things that were once so much more challenging and stimulating?
When I began to research for an answer to this question, I resorted to using the good ‘ole Google. And because I love lists, I immediately decided to search for the pros and cons of integrating technology into the classroom.
Top Hat Blog was where I found my most convincing arguments for both sides. This article had many convincing arguments for bringing the technology in, like “Using technology in the classroom allows you to experiment more in pedagogy”, which was their number one argument. Though, this article did reinforce some of my worries in the “cons” section, like “Technology can be a distraction”. Here, take a look at this article and see what you think!
I still remain wary on the decision of bringing technology to the forefront of the classroom. But I do understand that it can be an amazing resource and has the possibility to spark some amazing learning moments. After watching this last YouTube clip, I realized that I should not be wary of it, because informal teaching will never have the same impact as formal education. Watch this video clip and have your mind blown, it should change your prospective no matter what side you find yourself on.