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The Effective Use Of Technology In Education

2087 words - 8 pages

Based on what I have read, technology effectiveness is a highly debated and argued topic among educators. There are many myths and misconceptions that even I myself have argued about technology use. For example, I always assumed that because I was a young, new teacher and used technology that most teachers who used technology were new and young like me. According to the article Research dispels common ed-tech myths, this idea is not the case. Veteran teachers are just as likely to use technology as new, young teachers (eSchool News Staff, 2010). A 2009 survey by Grundwald associates, found that as many as 34% of teachers were infrequent technology users compared to 22% who claimed that they used technology frequently, more than a third of their class time. This number is astounding to me. The research in this article seems to argue that even among those who do use technology in the classroom, many use it for tasks such as email, word processing, or games. Very few classrooms seem to be using the technology for actual learning and teaching.
There are critics on both sides of the argument of effective use when it comes to technology. Some argue that test scores have not supported the idea that technology use increases student learning, that this technology movement is simply another bandwagon fad. For example, the New York Times article, Grading the Digital School: In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores, discussed a school in the Kyrene School District in Arizona where technology is used frequently in the classroom. One teacher in the article is using technology in a lesson on Shakespeare. Her students are writing blogs, building Facebook pages, and even creating music lists to support the information they are learning in the classroom. The effectiveness of this learning activity, however, is still unknown. The teacher even seems hopeful that this activity will be effective when it comes to student success. Test scores in this district have been dormant even though other school districts in Arizona have experienced growth. The article goes on to point out that standardized tests do not measure many of the skills these students are learning, constructing a word document, presenting a PowerPoint presentation, creating digital art, but do assess basic fundamental skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. The teachers and administrators in this district feel that there has been growth despite limited data results. The best summation of this argument is when the author of the article said, “Hope and enthusiasm are soaring here. But not test scores.”
Others argue that technology use is effective for student growth and achievement; that the lessons and skills learned are monumental in lifelong learning and success. For example on May Sayparn : EDTECH Learning Log’s blog, Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students, the author argued that, “Technology use allows students to create, problem solve,...

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