As technology expands into homes and businesses around the world, this paper looks at how schools will also benefit from its integration. With the “No Child Left Behind Act” as a guide to challenging new standards, schools need to look at the different types of technology available to them now and how it will benefit not only the students but also what this could mean for instructors and administrators too. In order to meet the ever changing needs of the economies technology, the responsibility to bring schools up to date falls upon the entire community and school districts alike.
The Positive Effects of Technology in Education
It’s 3:00pm. The kids run home from school, grab a snack and reluctantly sit down to their homework. It’s a scene that has replayed itself in the homes of school-aged children year after year. Yet, in the world of technology today, these kids aren’t just sitting down with pencil and paper anymore. They are sitting down in front of computers, laptops, and other various technology that let them explore and research pretty much any subject you can think of.
As technology has become less expensive over the last couple of decades, it has found its way into homes and businesses throughout the whole world for means such as entertainment, gathering information, communication, distance learning, etc. Most children do not know what life was like without cell phones or internet. Just as technology has found its way into homes and businesses, schools now need to focus their curriculum to prepare students for active participation in a technological world. Technical skills needed in this economy are changing. The skills taught in school however are not changing to meet these needs. Many graduates are not meeting the requirements of employers. The positive impacts of technology in education are instrumental in aiding teachers and administrators to successfully meet the needs of children and push them to their individual abilities.
The “No Child Left Behind, Act” (ESC.org) imposed by President Bush has changed the way the United States and its schools approach their educational obligations. They have challenged schools to reexamine their test standards, and set specific targets for improvements. States will be held accountable for schools that aren’t making progress each year. The main goal by 2014 is to end the achievement gap between rich and poor and white and minority students across the country. “Test results must include individual student scores and be reported by race, income and other categories to measure not just overall trends, but also gaps among, and progress of, various subgroups of students.” (ECS.org) Technology will play a key part in achieving these goals. To take full advantage of these wide varieties of capabilities, schools have to be equipped with the proper hardware and software however, it isn’t as simple as just buying a bunch of computers. The ideal instructional setting should be designed by the teachers and administrators that are going to be using it. Student and parent opinions should also be taken into consideration to get the widest possible perspective. While some schools feel computers should be in the classrooms, others feel they should all be together in a computer lab or media center. Either way, each curriculum will have different needs so in turn; the ‘ideal setting’ will be different for each school. No matter how the lab or classroom is set up, it should have computers or laptops with internet access and a CD-ROM, one or two printers (at least one color printer), a scanner, a copier, a digital camera, and a station where students can present their work; plus TV, VCR and video equipment. All stations should provide visibility to the instructor.
Giving students access to technology is just the first step. Keeping students focused and helping them to stay on task is another, more difficult process. Distractions from email or other websites make it...