More technology in schools worth the risk

The use of technology has vastly changed education across America. Through the use of grants and school financing, many schools across the country are providing their students with electronics such as tablets and laptops in order to access new forms of digital education. Through these tools, students are able to access things such as online tests, teacher-created videos and online textbooks. Schools hope to improve the potential learning opportunities by using different methods in order to get the information across. However, there is also a reasonable fear that students will become distracted and be less likely to grasp important pieces of information. Instead of focusing on their class, they could be focused on things such as social media. However while I think we need to be careful with technology in the classroom, it is an important tool that will help improve education in the future.

Through technology, schools attempt new styles of teaching to be more helpful to students. For example through the use of instructional videos, some classes are now taking a different approach to the general structure of a class. Instead of learning the lesson in class and then going home and doing homework, it has been flipped on its head. Students watch the lesson at home and bring their homework to class where they can be assisted by teachers. This system attempts to make it more fair to all students especially ones in lower income brackets. The problem is that not every student has parents at home who have the time or knowledge to help them with homework. Instead of forcing these students to do it on their own, they can receive help from their teachers during class.

In addition to that, the use of teaching videos also allows individual students to go back at any time to something they did not understand while the rest of the students can proceed onwards. Through the use of technology, teachers can find the best way that works for them and their students. Through the application of these devices, students do not only learn their classwork but also learn how to properly use a computer. With this, they will have knowledge of technical tools that will be beneficial for them when they leave education.
Technology grants are especially important for poorer students. Tools and applications are pointless for someone who cannot purchase a tablet or laptop. School funding for electronics help close the gap for students of lower incomes. Schools are now able to assign electronic devices to students who are disadvantaged in comparison to their classmates. With extra funding, schools can meet this need and help out these students.

An example of this spread is through cheap laptops made by Google known as Chromebooks. Over 30 million students in primary and secondary schools across America use applications such as Google Drive during their school work. Therefore in an education system where online tools are widespread, everyone needs to have access to receive a proper education. The grants help provide the funds necessary to provide these. Through the spreading of technology, each student has the same advantages as their peers and is able to complete their assignments.

However, there is evidence that computers may have a negative impact on students’ education. In a psychological study in 2016 done by researchers at the University of California, researchers discovered that people writing on paper were more likely to understand the less defined questions. For example after learning about diversity approaches in Sweden and Japan, both sets of students were able to report back the facts, but the students on digital devices were less likely to answer questions effectively such as, “How do Japan and Sweden differ in their approaches to equality in their societies?” This presents a potential problem for new users of technology. It is important for students to understand both the facts as well as the wider image behind it. In addition to this, students on their laptops also have the potential temptation of things such as social media. This has lead some to feel that technology should be left out of the classroom as it will impede the student’s learning.

While I think it is important to stop distractions during education, I think keeping technology out of the classroom is an example of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Instead of removing technology entirely from the hands of students, we should instead focus on how we can best use technology to help better educate incoming students. Through the applications of these tools, we can help create a suitable learning environment for all students. If we continue to go down this road, electronic grants for schools are extremely important to making sure everyone has access. It is useless to create new tools without the proper infrastructure to back it up.

Post Author: Nathan Hinkle