Increased Classroom Use of Technology
Technology has taken the classroom by storm with 97% of teachers having at least one computer in their classroom as of 2009. Of those computers, 93% have Internet access for student and teacher use. In fact, the student to computer ratio in schools is 5.3 to one. This is a huge increase over the last two decades.
The General Impact of Technology in Schools
Teachers and students are both finding that increased technology availability and use are producing positive outcomes in the learning environment. For teachers in the Pre-K to 12th grade range, 74% say technology has helped them reinforce and expand the content they are teaching. The same percentage of students report that technology is a motivator in their learning process. Nearly two-thirds of teachers say that the use of technology in the classroom allows them to show something they are not able to demonstrate in a different way. However, only about half of teachers report using technology for online lesson planning. About half of all teachers allow students to access web-based educational games and activities for learning in the classroom.
Technology’s Impact on Advanced Placement and National Writing Project Classes
Technology is being used in the classroom and making a difference. In fact, 92% of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project educators report that the Internet has a “major impact” on their ability to easily access learning content, resources, and materials. In the same groups of teachers, 73% also state that they or their students use mobile devices to complete assignments inside of the classroom.
Writing and Technology
According to majority of students and teachers, digital technologies allow students to share their writing abilities and work with a wider and more varied audience. In fact, 52% strongly agree with that statement. In addition, 79% of writing students agree that tools in technology encourage greater collaboration with other students. Digital technology also encourages student creativity and personal expression, according to 78% of students.
According to recent studies, mobile devices also have many benefits in the classroom. These benefits include reducing the amount of paper used by students, helping absent students keep up with their missed work, engaging more students and on a higher level, and apps that cover a wide age-range, learning styles, and many different topics. In fact, schools in the United States were slated to buy more than 3.5 million tablets at by the end of 2014. By the end of 2015, it is projected that 45 states will be testing via electronic devices. This is due, in part, to the transition to the Common Core curriculum.
The cliché “there’s an app for that”, also applies to students and classrooms. Some initial testing shows that students who use apps perform better than those who do traditional textbook learning. Apps are also available for smart phones and tablets that give homework reminders and to help track the progress on assignments and projects.
Technology as a Homework Helper
Almost a third of students surveyed reported using a tablet for homework, while 65% reported using a laptop for homework. Furthermore, 39% of 14 year olds reported using a smart phone to complete their homework, 42% of 6th graders used them, while 57% of 8th graders did the same.
Technology Changes Learning Order
Technology is also changing the way students and teachers receive, process, and use information to meet learning goals and standards. Instead of traditionally hearing a lecture while at school and then doing homework to complete an activity based on the lecture, the process is now changed. Students watch a short recorded video lecture as their homework. Then they come to class and get help with projects or activities, or take an exam. For students who struggle with learning, this new process allows them to truly learn information, not simply memorize it.
Connections with Technology
Another benefit to technology in the classroom is that parents can be more involved. Many schools have an interface or learning management system in place that allows parents to view homework assignments and their own child’s progress. Social media can also help students think outside the box when it comes to learning. Many teachers have also let their students design their own homework and have more involved assignments with the help of technology.
With technology changing every day, there are more and more ways in which it can help students and teachers, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Source: University of Cincinnati