There is no doubt technology had transformed teaching and the way students learn; however, in the world of education, there are those who believe technology is a vital asset in the classroom and there are those who completely oppose it. Either way, technology has become the leading force in society today; no one can escape it. It is important for educators to find the most effective ways of using technology in the classroom without relying solely on it. The keys to effective use of technology are remaining involved in the learning process of the student while using technology, keep teachers trained on new technology available, and never overusing it. Using technology effectively in the classroom will help develop a student who is ready and able to face the post graduation world successfully.
In Becoming a Teacher, Parkay and Stanford, claim 46 percent of teachers use computers in the classroom on a weekly basis. These statistics are from the seventh edition, so it is safe to say those numbers have clearly risen and now have quite an impact in the classroom. With increasing use of technology, teachers need to make sure they are committed to the inclusion of technology in their lesson plan by developing new assessment techniques to evaluate students’ work. For instance, a teacher cannot simply grade a student on correct answers because he or she could have simply looked them up via the internet; the teacher must evaluate what the student is learning based on evidence of critical thinking and real-world problem solving. Plagiarism may become an issue with the use of technology, so it is important for educators to explain the importance of students’ writing their own material and citing sources they may have used.
Parkay and Stanford also claim that, although school districts are developing new approaches to providing teachers with support for integrating technology, they are not spending an adequate amount of money on the training. With the abundance of technology available to teachers, it is important for them to receive sufficient and ongoing training. Teachers are doing everything from emailing parents to designing complete lessons that require student so use the Internet as a resource and part of their participation; these educators need to remain proficient in the ways they choose to use technology. Also, some claims are being made that students are becoming more “tech savvy” than the educators and this puts the teachers at a disadvantage when assessing the students learning. Teachers are beginning to rely on the students for help in the classroom and this sets an uneven tone in the classroom; teachers will lose their credibility.
Once educators begin to realize how powerful a tool the computer can be to learning, they must resist the urge to rely solely on it. It must remain clear that the computer and the Internet is just another form of literacy available to them while teaching. A lesson plan should include reading, writing, listening, speaking, and the use of technology for visual and audio stimulation. Although technology provides students with the ability to learn in a nonlinear fashion, they still need other learning tools that will provide a basis for effective overall learning. Teachers need to remain in control of the classroom lesson and not leave the students to fend for themselves while using technology.
Some critics believe teachers are, in fact, overusing technology. They claim computers will not improve education, and therefore, are not needed in the classroom. Some claim older effective teaching methods will be thrown out and overlooked because of the convenience of technology. There are many difficult questions surrounding if technology should remain at the center of learning, or if teachers should consider using them as only sources of entertainment. I believe, technology provides students with effective ways of learning that keep them on-track with the increasing technological world we live in and if teachers utilize it correctly, it will prove to be an effective strategy for teaching.