Technology in the Classroom: Change in Student and Teacher Roles

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Technology in the Classroom: Change in Student and Teacher Roles When students are using technology as a tool or a support for communicating with others, they are in an active role rather than the passive role of recipient of information transmitted by a teacher, textbook, or broadcast. The student is actively making choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate, or display information. Technology use allows many more students to be actively thinking about information, making choices, and executing skills than is typical in teacher-led lessons. Moreover, when technology is used as a tool to support students in performing authentic tasks, the students are in the position of defining their goals, making design decisions, and evaluating their progress. The teacher's role changes as well. The teacher is no longer the center of attention as the dispenser of information, but rather plays the role of facilitator, setting project goals and providing guidelines and resources, moving from student to student or group to group, providing suggestions and support for student activity. Increased Motivation and Self Esteem

The most common--and in fact, nearly universal--teacher-reported effect on students was an increase in motivation. Teachers and students are sometimes surprised at the level of technology-based accomplishment displayed by students who have shown much less initiative or facility with more conventional academic tasks: Teachers talk about motivation from a number of different perspectives. Some mention motivation with respect to working in a specific subject area, for example, a greater willingness to write or to work on computational skills. Others speak in terms of more general motivational effects--student satisfaction with the immediate feedback provided by the computer and the sense of accomplishment and power gained in working with technology. A related technology effect stressed by many teachers was enhancement of student self esteem. Both the...
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