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Use of Technology in the Classroom
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Technology in the Classroom
Has the use of technology in classrooms improved the way we teach students? Are the students understanding their subject topics better through instructions heavily dependent on technology? These are tough questions to answer and that is what I shall aim to address through this article.
Gone are the days the students passively listen to the teacher.Today's students are active listeners with short attention spans and have knowledge of computers from the age of three. They have been exposed to various technologies such as cell phones, telephones, mass media, i pod's etc. The spoken word bores them and they like to interact through SMS's and emails.
But what are the negative effects of technology in the classrooms?
- Now a days due to privatization of education, private schools have mushroomed. Parents, today, want their children to learn everything at an early age and enroll their children in high profile private schools, where all facilities are available (albeit at a high cost) . What happens to the children? They further get addicted to computers and cell phones. They don't learn the correct techniques of using this technology and instead learn by trial and error. In the bargain, they do not sit straight, or sit too close to the display or watch /play computer games without maintaining adequate distance or correct posture for long periods of time. Their eyesight therefore weakens and need to wear spectacles at an early age.
- Many schools entice parents to enroll their children in their schools by listing out technological aids available to the teachers and students. But how these aids would be used to teach the children or are they effective in imparting education is not brought out.
- Excessive dependence on technology can be counter productive to the children as they would get the impression the teacher is replaceable.
What are the good effects of technology?
- Teachers use animation on computers to re enforce basic concepts. For e.g while teaching the concept of circle or finding the area of the circle she gives general instructions to the class and then the students can actually see how various values in the formula affect the shape of the circle. Similarly, while teaching reading skills, the teacher uses a recorded voice to show the students the correct pronunciation, which not only helps students to develop good listening skills but also gives them the correct way of reading the text . Instead of teacher correcting the pronunciation/ diction mistakes, student him self/herself can evaluate by recording their own voice and playing back for verification. This can be done at home too.
- Technology helps by making information more accessible to the students in the form of DVD's, Internet sites etc.
- It enables offline interaction between teachers and students. Email is an excellent example of the same.
- In case a teacher is not available for a particular subject, previously recorded video or material can be played back to the class and the student can then ask questions to the teacher via email.
- Video Conferencing allows the students to listen to a good teacher, miles away, in their classroom, live. Saves considerable time on travel.
In this article I have tried to put across both good and bad points of usage of technology in the class room and it effect on students. However, a word of caution, Use technology as a tool and not as a replacement for a teacher.