Technology in the Classroom: Friend or Foe?

December 17, 2015

Technology has permeated virtually every area of life and the same is true for education. With various tools available for use within the classroom, there rises a question whether technology in the classroom can help improve the learning process for students or acts as a distraction. Examining the pros and cons of technology in the classroom can offer a better idea of whether it should be treated as friend or foe.

The Pros

  • Generally, visual data is easier to comprehend and learn than large blocks of text and lectures. In this aspect, technology in the classroom can make things easier for teachers. They can illustrate what they are teaching. Also, teachers can experiment with different tools to find out what works, which will liven up the class environment.
  • Learning becomes easier and quicker for students via the tools being used. Students can grasp the concepts and topics efficiently and they can learn more than they would with the conventional means of teaching. This will enable them to perform better and also allow teachers greater insight into how well the students are grasping what is being taught.
  • While technology in the classroom is still in its infancy, the use of technology in business, regardless of type or scale, is widespread. By incorporating the said technology in the classroom, institutions can better prepare students for life after education where they will be expected to employ the tools and equipment available when working. 
  • Sharing resources and fostering collaboration among students becomes easier with technology. Teachers can create groups in the class so that students can work with each other to understand the concepts better. This also gives the introverts a chance to share their views without having to speak out loud in the class, something they might not be comfortable with. This way, teachers can inculcate independence when it comes to learning in students.
  • Some students don’t have the acumen to learn via textbooks and notes. Their minds are stimulated by creativity and this is where technology comes into the picture. Students who are interested in innovation will perform better when they have the tools at their disposal to do so.

The Cons

  • As mentioned earlier, technology can be a distraction as students might use it for personal reasons during class. Proper implementation and use would require imposing guidelines and regulations, which is a way to get around this problem.
  • The classroom remains one of the few places where the young ones interact with others face to face. With the proliferation of social media in everyday life, teenagers in particular are losing their ability to communicate verbally. Incorporating these tools in the classroom would reduce this exposure as well.
  • Cyber crime is a genuine concern wherever the internet is being used and this is the case with technology in the classroom as well. However, there are tools available to keep unauthorized users out of the system and most of them are sufficiently reliable.
  • Technology is expensive, at least more expensive than the notepads and textbooks students use. Technology in the classroom could mean education becomes more expensive. That being said, if adopted around the world, the technology could become more affordable over time.

 

Since technology in the classroom is yet to be adopted universally, it is difficult to decide if it has in fact made learning easier for students. Of course, they have more tools at their disposal to learn and don’t have to rely on the conventional ways but at the same time they have had to adapt to the changing scenario. It may be some time before a definite judgment call can be made. Keeping the pros and cons mentioned above in mind, it seems there are more advantages and the disadvantages can be minimized.

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