Thoughts on Learning with Technology

Incorporating technology in the classroom is almost inevitable for students in school today.  Almost every school uses some sort of personal device that each student posses. Trying to avoid using technology in the classroom is just stupid. However, I think teachers ultimately control how much they use it in the classroom. Technology should be used responsibly  and should not be used as a crutch for teachers, they still should be actively teaching their students. As a future educator myself, I want to be able to use technology in my classroom affectively.

Using technology to bring students together is a great thing. Before, most learning was done individually, but with technology such as google docs it gives every student an opportunity to participate. Even the shy students might feel comfortable typing something on a Google doc rather than speaking aloud in front of the entire class. It also allows for more room for creativity. So many schools lack funding in the art and music areas, and technology offers students to show their creativity. I think when teachers find GIFs and memes that relate to the topic they are teaching, while also relating to the student, students are more interested and are engaged learners. Technology has the power to activate more meaningful learning if it is used in the right way. It presents more ways to acheive collaborative leaning and learning application.  It promotes classroom conversation and activates prior knowledge which are key characteristics for meaningful learning.

Standardized tests are used frequently to test a students knowledge. It is a heavily debated topic and that along with my future career is why I chose it as my topic of interest. Where does technology play a role in standardized tests? Truthfully, I do not think it applies to standardized testing, which is one of the reasons I am so against the idea of testing. This is 2016 and we are still giving and taking these tests the same way I did and many others older than me did. That is longer than 15 years, and nothing has changed. Technology is promoting collaborative learning , where as standardized tests are based on individual learning. When students are being taught to the test they make little effort to fully understand and apply knowledge, which prevents meaningful learning. They do not activate prior knowledge or experience.  Standardized Testing promotes learning to take tests, not actual learning that is meaningful. The education system is moving forward by promoting meaningful learning with technology being so prevalent in the classroom, but because we rely so heavily on standardized tests to asses if students have learned everything on the curriculum then what are really accomplishing? Everything that technology is supposed to accomplish is contradicted by placing so much value on standardized tests.

Overall, technology is a great thing when used properly. As long as teachers use it to their advantage and not to do their job for them it can create a whole new opportunity for students to engage in learning. It has the power to encourage classroom conversations, help students visualize information, keep students interested in the lesson with things such as GIFs and memes, add a creative element to learning, and much more. However, I think standardized testing diminishes all of the positive elements of learning with technology. The education system needs to change, because all of the recent progress made is being taken away by placing so much weight on testing. Test scores should not determine how good a teacher is, how smart a student is, and whether or not a school is adequately teaching students everything they should know. Students will not develop conceptual understanding by continuing this. Learning with technology creates opportunities for meaningful learning, which will help students not only remember what they have learned, but also apply it to their lives.

 

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