Entry 2: Technology to Enhance Instruction
Integrating Instructional Technology
You all see how important technology is to children, everywhere people go there is a child playing a game or watching a video on some sort of technological device and it seems to only get worse as they get older. Teens in today’s world can barely function without their cellphones, if they could they would spend most of their time on it. In today’s society it would be harder to teach a child not to use technology than to teach them how to use it. That is why teachers have had to learn and adapt in order to accommodate the students they teach. However, these things are not without drawbacks, this paper will go through some of the technology used in today’s classes to help instruction as well as some of the drawbacks or using them.
The TI-Nspire is one of the best things to happen to math and science classes, it is a graphing calculator with so much to offer students and teachers. Students in these classes today have come to rely on calculating devices for not just help with complex math but for some even basic math. One of the many things that makes the Nspire so helpful to teachers is the ability to upload data to it and have the students do the work. Its design and easy use give students confidence when using it, it also has different color displays to help make it more personal and interesting to the student.
Smartboards in classrooms have become the new norm and what is not to like about them? It has everything a white board has except its better because a person doesn’t need to grab an eraser to clean it off and there won’t be any stains after frequent use. So not only does it act as a better version as a white board it is also like having a very large computer screen for the entire class to look at. The teacher can play videos for the students, show them what websites to get answers, play PowerPoints for them, and a number of other things. Students also usually enjoy getting up to play with it, they don’t have a limited choice of makers to use, now they have hundreds of different choice colors.
While some people may say that computers are going out of style they are still a tremendous part of technology used in just about every classroom. Students love to play on computers, if you were to go into a classroom and the teacher said ok let’s go to the computer lab you would probably see a lot of happy faces. Many teachers like how the computer does a lot of the work for them, that way they can key in on students that really need help. For students many programs that the computers run have games for them to play and that is just one of the things students like about them.
Pros and Cons of using Technology to Facilitate Learning
For the pros side of using technology it’s very easy, students love technology, a lot of kids are addicted to it. Attitude among students always gets better when technology is involved, it’s like a puzzle they try to figure out because they know it is a tool that will help them in the future. From a teaching standpoint it gives students something to help them along while the teacher can give more attention to students who need it. There has been many debates over the cons of using technology in the classroom. One of the arguments is “the computer takes more of the thinking processes out of the student” while this may be true the world is now run by computers and digital devices and students learning how to handle these devices will help them throughout their life. Some people also say that kids are already too dependent on technology and this only makes things worse for those who may not be getting the emotion support that they need from an actual person. Technology should play a part in every classroom I definitely plan to use technology to my advantage, but with that being said I still think there is an importance of working with students without the use of technology. Learning in a classroom is not just about getting grades it is about gaining emotionally as well as intellectually.
Wired and Wireless Classrooms
Wired classrooms use wire to connect to things online. While wireless classrooms use wireless connections to connect online. Pros for wired are strong connection, cheap, faster, and not easily disrupted. Cons are they have a limited reach or extension and can be disrupted by weather. The pros for wireless classrooms are convenience and range, while the cons are connectivity, speed, and price. For teachers it is probably better to have a wired classroom because of the speed, connectivity, and cost. The limited range shouldn’t mean much because most instruction takes place in class. Having a wireless connection may be more fun because of the freedom of movement, but speed and connectivity would defiantly be issues if one is trying to go through something quickly.
So these were some of the technologies that teachers and schools use to help facilitate and improve instruction in classrooms along with some pros and cons of technology. It seems a little crazy how far people have come in regards to technology. Many people still consider desktop computers to be new, when it seems like they are getting replaced with mobile computers like laptops or IPads in today’s society. Did you ever have a teacher that told you that you wouldn’t have a calculator to do your work in the real world? She must have thought that today would never come.
Buyer, Lise (Feb 11, 2008). Smartboard Changes Classroom. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4278772&page=1
Flatley, Joseph (Feb 28, 2011). TI-Nspire graphing calcs get full color displays, 3D, WiFi, and new OS. http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/28/ti-nspire-graphing-calcs-get-full-color-displays-3d-wifi-and/
Gulley Kathleen (Spring 2003). Pros and Cons of Computer Technology in the Classroom.