“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” – David Warlick
When I stand at the front of my classroom at a community college, I am struck by the picture of a modern classroom. While the classroom is fundamentally a teacher with his/her students, now my students have computers at their desks, mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs or iPads, and I am lecturing with an interactive presentation software as projected on a large overhead screen. Technology use is, and will continue to be, commonplace among modern students as the demands of the new digital working world rely upon the efficient use and integration of computers and mobile devices. The potential for increased student achievement is an essential consideration for our students, and with skillful integration, technology can motivate and engage students while supporting their learning needs.
Why integrate technology in the classroom?
Simply put, because technology use has the potential to increase positive student outcomes. As evidenced by meta-analysis of more than 500 studies on computer-mediated instruction, students are able to learn more than their traditional cohorts when using computers while learning (Kulik, 1994). For example, using computers in the classroom can decrease the time invested skill development in areas such as math, science, and reading by allowing students to access interactive skill drills (Wenglinsky 1998). In over 200 reviewed studies related to the effect of technology use on student learning and achievement (Sivin-Kachala, 1998), students demonstrated positive levels of achievement when in technology-rich learning environments.
A vision of the future
“It is important to remember that educational software, like textbooks, is only one tool in the learning process. Neither can be a substitute for well-trained teachers, leadership, and parental involvement.” – Keith Krueger
The use and integration of technology in the classroom is to the teacher as the brush is to the artist. As a master craftsman utilizes tools to effectively and efficiently to accomplish their goals, a teacher has the ability to increase their effectiveness and classroom efficiency by utilizing emerging technology to engage, motivate, and shape student learning. Preparing students to use technology to achieve their educational, professional, and personal goals should be among our objective as educators.
Sivin-Kachala, J. (1998) Report on the effectiveness of technology in schools, 1990-1997. Software Publisher’s Association.
Kulik, J.A. (1994) Meta-analytic studies of findings on computer-based instruction. In Schacter, J. (1999) The Impact of Educational Technology on Student Achievement: What the most current research has to say. Retrieved on September 9, 2012 from http://www.mff.org/pubs/ME161.pdf
Wenglinsky, H. (1998). Does it compute? The relationship between educational technology and student achievement in mathematics. Educational Testing Service Policy Information Center.