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Jessica Altomare

Mr. Stinehour

RC 2001

March 28, 2019

To Use or Not to Use Technology in the Classroom

In recent years technology has been debated over the usefulness of it in a K-12

classroom. Many people believe that it can be very helpful and teach new ideas in this new

digital age, and others think we do not know the effects of technology yet and we

(millennials/gen Z) rely on it too heavily. With the age gap in older teachers and the new

generation of teachers, many have different ideas of how to use technology. Old school teachers

believe it is better to only teach on a white/chalk board and take notes on paper. Though it has

been said that taking notes on paper helps you memorize better, we should not only teach by

lectures. Group activities have had a great impact on how I work with people in my life now. As

a future teacher it is very important for my peers and I to have all of the information before

decided how to utilize technology in our classrooms.

In the past 20 or so years technology has made extreme advances. The types of

technology that would be used in a classroom are laptops, desktops, iPads/tablets, smart boards,

projectors, etc. The smart board is a very popular type of technology being added to classrooms.

They are “​a large touch-sensitive whiteboard that uses a sensor for detecting user input (e.g.

scrolling interaction) that are equivalent to normal PC input devices, such as mice or keyboards”

(SmartBoard). They have the ability to make interactive lectures and let students create their own
projects.​ On these different types of technology are different programs used to teach lessons and

assign homework. This programs are Canvas, Quizlet, Versal, Youtube, FlipGrid etc.

Many schools use Canvas, which is similar to ASULearn, to keep all different types of lessons,

assignments (homework, quizzes, and projects), and notifications in the same place. As someone

who has used Canvas before, I will say that it is very helpful, quick and easy, and helps keep me

organized. Quizlet is a study tool that gives you different options to study flashcards. These

flashcard sets can be made public which can be positive and negative. Students have made

quizlet sets of teachers quizzes, so if it is reused, then a student can look up the answers. On the

other hand, this website is basically a dictionary. When learning about a new subject it is nice to

be able to read multiple definitions at any degree of depth. A high school teacher, Pete Clements,

was hesitant about using the website until he heard all the functions it has. He decided to test it

out by having his students learn vocabulary words. “Quizlet was a useful tool to integrate into

classes. It engaged learners both inside and, to an extent, outside the classroom. The tool

promoted collaboration and engagement during class time, and prompted some self-study.”

Versal is a new website I recently found that is similar to powerpoint. The difference is that you

can give quizzes,discussion boards, and other activities in the slides. So as the students moves

through the lesson they will stop and give their input on what they have learned so far. This

aspect would give great feedback to see what the students knew before, during, and after the

lesson. Youtube can also have positive and negative aspects. Their are very educational and kid

friendly videos on Youtube, for example Crash Course. Crash Course are videos that are made to

give quick information on History, Science, and English topics. These were very helpful in high

school when they came out, and are still helpful when I need general information on a topic. The
problem with Youtube is that you can not control what videos pop up next to it, or the

advertisements that play before or during the video. Countless times a teacher played an

appropriate video in class then an ad would pop up of something you should not be showing any

age, let alone young students. Lastly, FlipGrid is a new program that lets a teacher ask her/his

students a set of questions and they reply by taking a video of themselves answering the

question. I recently used this program and the students and I fun time doing it and did not mind

answering the questions. From what I have noticed the best ways to get students to do anything is

to trick them into thinking they are not doing schoolwork and by making it enjoyable.

On one side of the argument, using technology in the classroom can insinuate full

participation, instant feedback, updated information, and more resources to make learning fun

(tophat). When the internet was born it was obvious how much easier it would be to gain and

access information. When technology began to be easier to come by it was installed into the

school environment for this reason. For example, in a history class it is very helpful for students

to be able to look up information faster on reliable websites. When a teacher uses a website like

Canvas, it is very helpful for her students and herself, to have quizzes, and other multiple choice

assignments, to be graded automatically. Students get excited to use technology in school

because it might not something they get to use all the time at home. This might turn into

studenting getting distracted, but from what I have noticed this is only the case when you do not

give clear directions.

A study was conducted by the FATIH program to determine the impact technology has

on classroom management. Classroom Management is the ability the teacher has to control

his/her students to increase efficiency of education, and reach curriculum goals. The study was
taken by interviewing teachers and students after using technology in the classroom. I expected

that the use of technology would make classroom management harder because students can get

distracted very easily and go on an app/page they should not be on. Instead FATIH found the

opposite. “It was found that effects of technology use by teachers on classroom management

varied significantly depending on the variable of “daily internet use”. No statistically significant

difference was found depending on variables other than daily internet use.”

On the other side of the argument TopHat says when using technology it can cause easy

distraction, the disconnection of social interactions, easy to cheat, and bad sources. Kids

now-a-days are thought of having bad social skills because of technology. From a young person's

perspective we, as kids, were all weird at one point or another and I do not think we can blame

this on technology. A big reason technology is not used in the classroom is because it makes it

easier for students to cheat. As I said earlier with quizlet, many students have put old quizzes

online, which current students have used to find answers. A way school districts have worked to

prevent unwanted internet use is setting up security measures. “​Security is the big challenge and

one of the main reasons many schools have never allowed major classroom technology roll-outs

previously. This can be avoided with what we call ‘Role Based Access Control’. This allows you

to know who, what, when, and how people are connecting to your network and limit their access

based on that profile or role you have set up” (Wainwright). ​Lastly, students are known for using

bad sources when looking for information online. I have been told countless times throughout

school to not use wikipedia as a source, but it is tempting to get quick facts from it. A way to fix

this would be to instead just tell kids to not us it, show them websites that are reliable and easy to

use.
I am very moderate when it comes to using technology. I have seen how students can use

technology to work together to make great presentations and other group projects. On the other

hand I have seen teachers pass out iPads and the students will no longer pay attention.The plan I

have for my classroom of course depends on the resources available at my school, but I would

like to be able to use technology about 1 out of 3 lessons. One of my biggest fears when it comes

to my future in educations (Middle School) is classroom management. With the distraction, that

can be technology, I hope to use technology that multiple students can use at one time, like a

smartboard. This will help students work together and have to share.

Many middle school students at this age do not know how to correctly use

technology/the internet, but they’re on it all day every day. “Of American teenagers ages 13–17,

92% report going on social media sites daily, with 24% reporting being online almost constantly

(Lenhart, 2015).” Bullying has recently changed from face-to-face to on cyberbullying on social

media. Students do not understand the impact something they post, can have a huge impact on

another's life. I want to teach them how to do so, in the beginning of the school year. There are

many dangers of using technology (social media) that they do not understand yet. By bringing

this up in the classroom I will be helping them grow inside and outside of the classroom.

In conclusion, I and many other educators, believe that the positives outweigh the

negatives when it comes to using technology in the classroom. There are many programs and

types of technology available to educators, that we need to teach our students how to properly

use each. When used properly, technology can, and will, have a positive effect on each student.

With the growing the future in technology we need to keep our students up to date and advancing

with the new world we live in.


Sources

Clements, Pete. “Using Quizlet to Engage Teens.” ​Using Quizlet to Engage Teens,​ vol.

27, no. 2, 1 Apr. 2018, pp. 59–61.

Durak, Hatice, and Mustafa Saritepeci. “Investigating The Effect of Technology Use in

Education on Classroom Management within The Scope of The FATİH Project.” ​Cukurova

University Faculty of Education Journal​, vol. 46, no. 2, 1 Oct. 2017, pp. 441–457.

Lenhart, A. (2015). Teens, social media, and technology overview 2015. Pew Research

Center. Retrieved April 19, 2017.

“Six Major Pros & Cons of Technology in the Classroom.” ​Top Hat,​ 28 Feb. 2019,

tophat.com/blog/6-pros-cons-technology-classroom/.

Wainwright, Ashley. “6 Potential Issues of Bringing Technology in the Classroom.” ​WiFi

as a Service - Secure WiFi Subscriptions - SecurEdge Networks.​

SMART Board interactive whiteboard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.​ (n.d.).

Retrieved June 15, 2009.