At Tech Where You Need It, we believe that technology should be used to supplement learning in the classroom, not replace it.
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The Problem: Too Much Tech in the Classroom
American students are falling behind. In a global market, this is unacceptable. The united states is ranked 38th in the world for math and 24th for reading. In a study done by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, they found that the US is one of the countries that spends the most on education. So, why are our students not succeeding?
A growing body of research suggests that too much tech in the classroom can actually have negative effects, includingkids being less likely to pay attention, having shorter attention spans, and doing worse on tests.
One recent study found that when fourth and fifth graders were given laptops to use in class, they wrote shorter stories with less complex sentences than kids who didn’t have laptops. The laptop kids also did more “off-task” activities like surfing the web or playing games.
Other research has found that kids who use tablets or other devices in class tend to score lower on tests than kids who don’t use them. And a large-scale study of nearly half a million ninth- through 12th-graders found that students who use devices more frequently in class get lower grades.
While there are many pros to having technology in the classroom, there are also some potential cons. One of the biggest problems with tech in the classroom is that it can be a major distraction. If students are using laptops or other devices, they may be tempted to check social media play games, or surf the web instead of paying attention to the lesson. In addition, tech can be disruptive if it’s not being used properly. For example, if a student is playing music on their phone or a teacher is trying to use a projector but can’t figure out how to turn it on, it can interfere with learning.
Another issue with technology in the classroom is that it can give some students an unfair advantage. If a class is using an online learning platform and some students have access to laptops or other devices at home, they may be able to do more work outside of class and get ahead of their classmates who don’t have the same access. This could widen the achievement gap between high- and low-income students.
Finally, technology can be expensive. Schools often have to decide between investing in new technologies or hiring more teachers. In some cases, schools may not be able to afford the devices or software that their students need. This can put low-income schools at a disadvantage and make it difficult for them to keep up with wealthier schools.
The Solution: The Right Tech in the Classroom
Technology has become a staple in society, so it’s no wonder that its incorporation into the classroom has been a continuous debate. Although there are benefits to technology, there is also the potential for abuse and misuse. Let’s explore the solution of having the right tech in the classroom.
When looking for the right education technology for your school or district, it’s important to consider the evidence. What does the research say about the impact of various technologies on teaching and learning?
There is a growing body of research on the use of educational technology in the classroom. This research can be divided into two main categories: studies that look at the impact of technology on student outcomes, and studies that look at the impact of technology on teaching and learning.
Studies that examine the impact of technology on student outcomes have generally found positive effects. For example, a meta-analysis of 200+ studies found that students who used education technology had higher grades and standardized test scores than those who did not use technology.1 Other studies have found that students who used laptops in class scored higher on exams than those who did not use laptops.2
Studies that examine the impact of technology on teaching and learning have generally found mixed results. Some studies have found positive effects, such as improved teacher productivity and increased student engagement.3 Other studies have found negative effects, such as decreased teacher productivity and increased student distraction.4 It’s important to note that most of these studies are correlational, which means we cannot definitively say that technology caused these effects.
When considering whether to implement educational technology in your school or district, it’s important to look at both types of evidence – the evidence about student outcomes and the evidence about teaching and learning. If you’re only looking at one type of evidence, you’re not getting the full picture.
When teachers have the right technology in their classroom, they can do things like:
– Teach more effectively: Technology can help you vary your teaching methods to better reach all students.
– Enhance student engagement and motivation: When students are actively involved in learning with technology, they’re more engaged and motivated.
– Increase student achievement: Research shows that using technology in the classroom can help students achieve more.
– Save time: When you’re using technology that’s well-designed and easy to use, it can save you time.
– Increase efficiency: Technology can help you do things like automate tasks so you can focus on teaching.