The Impact of Technology on the Twenty-First Century Classroom
The link above is to an article that is a look into the future of education and has proven to be the foundation for many classrooms across Canada in the year 2012. Technology has stood true as an issue in education because some have argued that the introduction of technology into the classroom has hindered many students’ ability to read and write the same as many before them. This article from CBC News provides a very fresh outlook on the introduction of technology as it applauds the use of modern ways for student’s to connect the world around them. For example, the first part of the article indicates three students that had questions about other places in the world, and through a unique approach made by an Ottawa teacher, that child was able to simply use the wonderful resources that are readily available online to get the answers in which they were seeking.
The article tells us a story about Mr. Kuropatwa’s elementary school class, in which the students are not required to read a textbook, but instead, through a series of online activities they end up writing the book themselves. At the beginning of the school year the student’s were required to keep a detailed blog about the course material that was being presented as well as post assignments and engage in online discussions about various topics throughout the year. This approach has made Kuropatwa’s class extremely knowledgeable about the online world and has enabled them to understand where to locate and how to access important information that is located online. Kuropatwa noted that his student’s have been engaged to a point where their competency and ability to solve problems as well as make decisions has increased immensely. He also uses the blog to monitor all of the students’ thought processes as well as pinpoint areas in which a student may require more help than others. This type of approach speaks to the benefit of technology in a classroom setting and has helped each individual student to learn in their own way which is a major step forward in this world which is completely governed by technology.
Similarly, students have also learned the networking capabilities of technology through a classroom in St. Joseph H. Kerr Elementary School in Snow Lake. The teacher of one grade 7-8 split classroom has also proved how if technology is introduced into the classroom at a young age, students will only benefit from the things they have learned about the World Wide Web in the years to come. Mr. Fisher of St. Joseph H. Kerr Elementary School has also begun his students with an online blogging style program which is similarly as interactive as Kuropatwa’s but it does escalate to the next level of modern technology. Fisher’s approach has sparked collaboration with other schools around the world and allows his students to blog, comment and even share their work with students across the world. This usage of technology is the new approach that needed to happen in the education system because as one of Fisher’s Grade 7 students put it, “you don’t need to be a rich old guy from New York anymore to get your voice out” (Deveau, 2007). This perspective on technology is one that is imperative in modern day education culture, as the critics will always find a reason to speculate as to how modernizing the school system can hinder a student’s ability, but when cases such as the two previous ones are popping up, it only makes sense to speculate that technology is the future of Canadian classrooms.
My critical perspective about the impact of technology into a classroom is that I believe there is always room for modern approaches to technology. Throughout this semester we have actually proved how fast information is readily available online and have discussed the pros and cons to introducing technology to the classroom. In my opinion, the avenue that the teachers travelled down in the article is the perfect way to use technology for the personal development of the students. All of the students in both the classrooms have benefited from the introduction of the blogging style classrooms as they have now been introduced to the networking that can exist and will exist in their future endeavors. I truly believe, given my own personal experiences, that if students can learn more and more about how to operate the new forms of technology in out modern world at a young age, that they will only be better off as they grow older. Certainly there will be studies to show that students reading levels and test scores have decreased but I do strongly believe that the students are currently learning extremely valuable lessons that will enable them to be successful in the future that is ahead of them. Since about the year 2000 onwards technology has been in the forefront of average human existence, as more people began owning and relying on computers to do the jobs that people normally would have done in the past. Why should we deprive children in schools of the ability to operate the latest technology so that they have a better chance of securing jobs in their own near future? In terms of the technology being used in the classroom, I would be more inclined to focus on the studies that prove or demonstrate a positive correlation in the students’ grades when using these new approaches.
The issue of introducing technology to the classroom is one that I believe will carry on for many years still, but eventually there will be no competition. Right now, there is still an influx of teachers that would be considered from a past generation that are still hung up on teaching with ‘old fashioned’ methods. Technology has been introduced to better our lives as students and educators, so if the tools are there, why wouldn’t we use this gift. This is not to speculate that all seasoned veterans of the teaching profession still teach using archaic methods but a combination of personal experiences and hear say around campus life has led to this insight. I believe bringing balance to the issue of technology will be eliminated completely on its own, as future teachers are currently being trained to use technology for the betterment of the future students within society.