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Leah Brosky

3-20-18
Essay Exam

Times are changing in our education system, and along with that comes more use of

technology. We are living in a society that is heavily technology based, and it is starting to make

its way into our classrooms more and more. The internet is a big thing that is being integrated

into our classrooms. Allowing the internet into our classrooms is something that can be a huge

advantage in our teaching, but also a disadvantage. “Making to use of technology to allow

students the freedom to discover solutions to problems both independently and collaboratively is

a force for good. As educators we strive for students to engage with our subject beyond a

superficial level. We want them to be active learners, learners who have a thirst for discovery

and knowledge. Technology places the world in the hands of every student inside the confines

of your classroom” (Britland, 2013). I think this is beneficial for children in the older elementary

grades like middle of third grade through fifth grade. This is an advantage because we can allow

our students to take control of their own questions, as well as do their own internet research on

the topic they are studying. It also allows students to do group work. I do not have a field this

semester but I am a substitute, and am often left a note to take the children down to the

computer lab to work on their projects. The kids are respectful of the internet and know the

proper way to use it. Is Technology Changing the Role of Teachers Jason Bedford (2013) says

that “Digital literacy, in particular has become one of the main priorities of 21st century

education. It’s a central theme of the common core state standards, and a skill that many will

argue will be vital for students attending college and/or pursuing successful careers in the 21st

century. Technology has become the norm in our nation’s schools - you would be hard pressed

to find districts without access to computer labs or the Internet.” I would have to say this is true

in the last 9 years. When I was in elementary/middle school we didn’t have technology in the

classroom. We had a computer lab in the basement of the school, but it was only used for
middle schoolers, and we only used it in library. However, when I got to 8th grade I remember

we had two computers in the back of the classroom, but I remember they were only used for

yearbook purposes. We never used them for the internet. I also remember at the end of eighth

grade we got our school’s first smart board. I remember it had a lot of problems because we

didn’t have the internet/technology to use it. Jason Bedford (2013) says that “One major way

that teaching has changed in the 21st century is that educators have become facilitators of

learning. In other words, they help students discover knowledge on their own, rather than simply

imparting it. This places students in an active role and keeps them engaged and interested in a

world that is rapidly changing.” Since I started subbing I have first hand encountered this new

facilitator philosophy. Teachers now facilitate learning by giving the students their assignments

and allowing the students to do it using different resources in the classroom. Sometimes the

students will use books, other times they will be able to use the internet.

As future teacher’s technology will be a huge part of our classrooms. We are the digital

natives of teaching and we will be the ones to show our fellow coworkers how to use that

technology and involve it in our classrooms. Our students are living in a technological society.

They are so in to technology, they have the technological brain. Technology promotes lifelong

learning, and makes learning fun. How Technology Has Changed Education Ali Raza (2017)

states that “One of the main ways in which technology has changed education relates to the

various forms in which learning content is now delivered. Teachers can now use videos,

animations, and other forms of content to enhance the process of learning. It is now common for

learners and teachers to use games as a way of enhancing the process of learning and

teaching. As a result learning and teaching are now fun and more meaningful than they were in

the past.”

Technology is also changing the role of teachers in education by it is creating better use

of real-world issues , This model encourages the use of real-world problems in the classroom.

By using the internet, the students can research real issues happening at the moment that are
related the classroom curriculum. This helps the students understand that the lesson being

taught refers to real problems and real people” ( Lynch, 2017). I remember in my field

placement we were talking about the oceans, and we were doing a simulation of an oil spill, so

we took a bucket of water and dumped a huge thing of vegetable oil and put some feathers in

the water as well. Before we started with the experiment we pulled up a video of oil spills and

we talked with the children about how they manage oil spills, and what they do to take care of

the animals that may be affected. For instance, ducks. The children loved that video and it

brought a real world perspective to them and it showed them that even though we don’t always

hear of these things happening where we live they happen around us, and it affects the people

around us as well. According to Matthew Lynch (2017) Allowing technology into our classroom

is great for formative assessment. “Teachers ensure that students are learning not only the

concepts, but also how to use the technology resources they have. Technology-focused

activities mostly require critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Teachers work as facilitators,

providing constant feedback, enabling students to achieve deeper levels of understanding.”

“Teaching is all about introducing students to a whole world of concepts that they didn’t know

about yet. Technology in the classroom is like a foray into modern invention - and you get to be

the expedition leader. Rather than viewing digital devices and internet spaces as a threat to

your duties, view them as unexplored areas of growth for both you and young minds trusting

you to show them what’s out there” (Lynch, 2017). I see this more and more as a student. In

highschool we were often asked to pull out our phones in class and do research on a question

that was brought up in class. In college especially in my Ed Psych class our Professor asks us

often to pull out our phones and look up answers to questions or to do research on a topic she

has given us, and then share what we found with the class. Technology is not a hindrance it is a

benefit to many, both the teacher and the student.

However, there are some disadvantages to allowing technology in to the classroom.

One that I can think of is the use of internet. The internet is a great thing if you teach your
students how to find and where to look for trustworthy information. Often times the students may

come across untrue information and believe it because it is on the internet. According to

University Homework Help, They say that “With the speeding development of technology, the

websites owner urges to rank their websites higher in search engines so they only concentrate

on rankings instead of content they are posting. Many websites come with wrong information

that has been copied and pasted from other sources without checking its authenticity. Thus, the

learners are misguided by the wrong informations available on the websites. These things can

perhaps become serious obstacles in their development. I remember one time in my field

placement class, my teacher looked up information and then later, she read somewhere that the

information on that website was false, so she had to check many other websites to make sure

the new information that she provided was credible. This goes to show you that not everything

that we read about on the information is true, and we have to teach our students how to look at

websites and make sure they are credible. We need to teach them that .org, and .gov websites

are typically the most credible and where we should go for information.

Lastly, According to 5 Problems with Technology In Classrooms by Terry Heick (2016),

they say that the pace of change is an issue in classrooms. “Not all schools can keep up with

the rapidly changing technology. Upgrading equipment is often costly and schools may not have

the manpower to handle the equipment. Most classrooms contain at least twenty students,

which can take up a great deal of internet bandwidth in the instance that they all must access

their laptop or tablet at once. Likewise, new hires may be necessary for teaching students how

to use the newer digital media. Yet another expense to the school. This could be as complex as

needing an IT staff to work out potential glitches in the system to hiring teachers with

comprehension for various software instead of teachers that are somewhat less skilled with

technology. If a student is required to do homework using their tablet, their parents may not be

able to help them with any questions if they are not familiar with the software or equipment

(Heick, 2016). As a future educator, and after spending a lot of time in classrooms I have
noticed that Internet connection is an issue.My cooperating teacher wrote a grant for a

classroom set of Ipads for her students, and they are great. They are awesome for using at

centers, or for small groups, however when all 28 of her students need to be on their Ipads at

the same time the Internet often kicks them off, or does not load anything. So I can see where

that is an issue for educators in the classroom if they rely on only technology.

Overall, I think technology is a great thing to have in the classroom, and something that

is definitely becoming more prevalent as we are now moving into a society of technology. Our

future teachers are coming from the time of digital natives so for us it is something that will more

than likely be included in our classroom all the time. I know I am often teaching my mom how to

use her technology in her classroom, and she has been a teacher for 27 years. I think it is great

that every so often they have meetings with technology specialists in their school district and

they go in every so often and do training on the smart board or new Ipad apps. Here’s to the

age of technology!

As a substitute parapro in a cognitively impaired classroom I truly believe technology is

one of the best things to happen to those children. Technology for the cognitively impaired not

only stimulates them, but also can be used to calm a child down, and even help the child speak

if they are non verbal. The child does not have to be necessarily have to be in a CI classroom to

require extra help or be considered special education. The child might attend a resource room,

or have a parapro in a general education classroom.

“There are many different type of technology that are used in special education

classrooms, from devices to address specific disabilities to standard devices that can be used in

modified ways. Many of these technologies are also being used in mainstream classrooms with

similar positive results for students of all kinds of abilities. Smart Boards are great in special

educational classrooms to get students involved in their learning, and to keep them engaged. I

know in our classroom we use the Smart Board to do letter games, and we also use it for social
stories like matt and molly. They help the children to be involved and also to learn how to use

these technologies. We also use Ipads to track the progress of students, and also we use them

for the students we are nonverbal. I think technology for them is something that is consistent for

them.

Technology in special education classrooms allows for students to have increased

independence, personalized learning, better connection with peers, reduced anxiety, easier

communication, and improved academic skills (University of Texas, 2017). As a parapro we see

this everyday with our students. We see how it truly benefits them and the independence it

provides. For example, it provides them with personal learning because we have downloaded

certain apps for each child to help improve what they are working on. Each of our students has

their own Ipad each personalized with apps and videos that they like, and that benefit them. We

have to look at the reduced anxiety as well. When we are in a special, or in the classroom and

the child is overstimulated we always have the Ipad ready and ready to give them child to

reduce anxiety before it escalates.

According to Assistive Technology for Kids with Learning Disabilities: An Overview By

Kristin Stanberry and Marshall H. Raskind (2018) it talks about different kinds of devices that

target a specific kind of learning disability. It talks about how assistive technology compensates

for a student’s skills deficits or area(s) of disability. Assistive technology can address many

types of learning difficulties. For example, Listening (Recording lectures or meetings with

professors), Math (basic problems, and again class meetings), Organization and memory (have

another student take notes for you, record lectures, and meet with teachers) (Stanberry &

Raskind, 2018).

Lastly, technology in the special education classroom is beneficial to empower students.

“ In my classroom, technology is a tool for empowerment - it creates a collaborative and

innovative space for all students” (Nieves, 2016). Allowing technology into our classroom for

children with special needs, it allows them to feel they have control. They are in control of their
own education. We often think “They, can’t do it” when in all reality they are capable of doing

more than we allow them to do/show. Something I have always loved about subbing in my CI

classroom was allowing the students to pull out their Ipads, because I knew they were learning.

When I would hear a student count, or read something, or come up to me and see them light up.

It makes me realize that these students have more power than I ever thought, and we need to

show others that as well. Technology for special education students is like textbooks/lectures for

general education students. If we gave these children more credit and allowed them to share

with us their knowledge, we would spend less time changing and truly see them as capable,

empowered, smart individuals.


Refrences

Part 1:

Britland, M. (18 June 2013). “How has technology transformed the role of a teacher?”

The Guardian. Retrieved from

https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jun/18/technology-tran

sform-teaching-students-schools

Bedford, J. (11 July 2013). Is technology changing the role of teachers?” Dream box.

Retrieved from http://www.dreambox.com/blog/technology-changing-role-teachers

Raza, A. (22 March 2017). “How technology has changed education.” Use of technology.

Retrieved from

https://www.useoftechnology.com/how-has-technology-changed-education/

Lynch, M. (4 March 2017). “7 ways technology is impacting modern education.” The Tech

Edvocate. Retrieved from

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/7-ways-technology-impacting-modern-education/

University Homework Help. (n.d). 15 disadvantages of technology in education.

Retrieved from

https://universityhomeworkhelp.com/15-disadvantages-of-technology-in-education/

Heick, T. (27 May 2016). “5 problems with technology in classrooms.” Teachthought. Retrieved

From

https://www.teachthought.com/technology/5-problems-with-technology-in-classrooms/

References

Part 2:
O,C. (n.d). “Technology benefits special education classrooms - and beyond.” Speech buddy.

Retrieved from

https://www.speechbuddy.com/blog/iep/technology-benefits-special-education-

classroom

s-and-beyond/

University of Texas. (15 September 2017). “The use of technology in special education.”

degree.utp. Retrieved from

https://degree.utpb.edu/articles/education/technology-in-special-education.aspx

Stanberry, k and Raskind, M.F. (n.d). “Assistive technology for kids with learning disabilities: an

overview.” Reading rockets. Retrieved from

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/assistive-technology-kids-learning-disabilities-overv

iew

Nieves, K. (8 November 2016). “Using technology to empower students with special needs”

Edutopia. Retrieved from

https://www.edutopia.org/article/empowering-special-education-students-technology-

kath

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