Technology and Education
The idea of integrating technology (like computers in every classroom and an overhead projector that is connected to the teachers computer) into education is a relatively new idea, and when I first started researching the topic I tried to look for the adverse effects of technology and education. Through my research I have decided that integrating technology into the classroom is indeed a good idea. Even though some teachers and students have a hard time working with the new technology many schools are starting to use, the adverse effects of technology do not compare with all the benefits of integrating technology into education.
The Ameritech Electronic University School Classroom is a recently developed facility at Kent State University. The goal of this project is to give students in Kindergarten to 12th grade a chance to work with the latest technology (Drew par. 2). The classroom is equipped with 12 networked computers, a scanner, a printer, videoconferencing cameras connected to several computers, digital still-frame cameras, camcorders, and a VCR (Drew par.2). The goal of this project is to see what advantages or disadvantages would surface from having students work in a technologically advanced setting. The researchers who were conducting this experiment would observe and tape the classroom dynamics.
The first major success of this program was that both the students and the teachers felt comfortable using the hardware and software by the end of the allotted time. At first the teachers indicated that they were somewhat ill-prepared to work in the Ameritech classroom but by the end of the semester they all indicated they were vary deft in working with the programs. The teachers also noted that most of the students had no idea how to run the hardware and software that the Ameritech Classroom offered, but they too showed very significant signs of growth by the end of the semester (Drew par. 6).
One of the fears of the teachers who would be working in the Ameritech setting was that the technology would lead to less social interaction among the students, but the opposite was in fact turned out to be true (Drew par. 8). Since there was only about 1 computer for every two to three students it forced them to work together and led to enhanced cooperative learning between students. It also gave more tech-savvy students the chance to show off some of their skills and help lead the class. One teacher remarked, “My students were more cooperative working on computers than in other group activities” (Drew par. 9). Obviously, for a group project to actually work all of the students must be interested in the project and show some desire to learn, and with a fun setting like this, students seem to be more inclined to learn.
A large challenge that public schools have to grapple with is to provide appropriately challenging assignments to all the students in the class even though they might not all be on the...