Relative Advantage of Technology use in the Classroom

Technology gives teachers a way to engage students like never before. Of course it helps keep a student’s attention and makes class more interesting, but I think the most important advantage of using technology in the classroom is how technology can help relate a topic to the “real world”. Technology is everywhere everyday, especially for the youthful demographic. Students in today’s classroom are being raised in a technological era. They do not remember when people did not carry cell phones, or when pong was the video game of choice. Some students have never heard the sound of a typewriter or smell white out. Technology is their reality, and by bringing it into the classroom, we are bringing in the world around them.

The relative advantage of using technology is that it does use alternate methods for teaching a concept. In the subject of Science for example, a student can visualize concepts through technology that otherwise would not be possible. Teachers can talk and read about a birth of a star for example, but thanks to technology, students can actually witness the process. It takes students to places that normally they would never be able to go. It makes the abstract tangible, again making it real. We must remember though, that technology is only effective if it used in conjunction with teaching the standards and objectives the students need to master.

Another advantage of using technology is that it allows teachers to reach all types of students. The article, “Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum”, discusses how technology makes it possible for teachers to accommodate all learner types. It also points out the advantage for use in assessment. Being able to give immediate feedback is a great tool for teachers to better help their students with concepts they may have problems with.  In the Article,”Email as an Educational Feedback Tool” the author makes the argument that feedback is vital to a student’s learning, and that we must never underestimate a student’s desire to communicate. This article talks about communicating through email which makes it easier sometimes for students to say things or ask questions they may be to shy or nervous to ask in person.

All in all, I believe that it is indisputable that technology use has a real relative advantage in all subjects. It helps students gain a desire to learn through creating an engaging environment, making it relative to their lives, and give immediate feedback to help understanding.

Sources

Why integrate technology into the curriculum?: the reasons are many . (2008). Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction

Huett, J. (2004). Email as an educational feedback tool: relative advantages and implementation guidelines. International journal of instructional technology and distance learning1(6), Retrieved from http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jun_04/article06.htm

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Relative Advantage of Technology use in the Classroom

  1. Melodee you mention a key factor that technology has always been a part of this generation’s lives. With this said, it so bothers me that technology is the first item cut in education.
    You mention some great examples, such as “it makes the abstract tangible” and “that we must never underestimate a student’s desire to communicate.”

  2. Melodee,

    You state, technology “helps keep a student’s attention and makes class more interesting.” There are some commentators who have stated that technology can make students less attentive and shorten attention span. Theses folks feel that the “real” world cannot compete with various virtual worlds and, therefore, students lose interest in things that aren’t “teckie” enough. I’m sympathetic to that point of view and believe there must be a “happy medium” somewhere.

    James

    • Hi Melodee,

      I enjoyed reading your blog on the Relative Advantage of Technology Use in the Classroom. You bring up a good point that today’s youth do not remember the world before cell phones. They are truly a technology generation. I like your statement “Technology is their reality, and by bringing it into the classroom, we are bringing in the world around them. As an educator, I feel we have a responsibility to prepare our students to survive in the twenty-first century by teaching them with twenty-first century tools.

      I really enjoyed the article, Email as an Educational Tool. The studies were conducted on high school and college students, but as I was reading through the article I began wondering if this could be effective with my fifth graders. I can see the great relative advantage of motivating students to write and communicate using email.

      Thanks for the great blog Melodee, you gave me a new tool to ponder using in my classroom!

      Janice

  3. Melodee,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog this week. I agree that one of the most important aspects of technology is allowing real world integration. I think it is awesome that we are no longer bound by what is in our out of date textbooks. Students (and teachers) have access to information as soon as it happens. Nice job.

    Travis

  4. Melodee,

    Great post! I want to add to what James, Janice, and Travis have said by pointing out what I consider the most important point you have made: “that technology is only effective if it used in conjunction with teaching the standards and objectives the students need to master.”

    Technology or not, good unit/lesson design has to start with the end in sight. If technology can help us accomplish curricular goals, great! But it must remain a means not an end.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s