If you were a student when technology first became prevalent, you likely remember the first time a Smartboard — a tool used by educators to project content, lessons and presenations — or computer was incorporated into the classroom.
I can recall several recurring instances where a Smartboard has broken down in some way. The Wi-Fi would occasionally never connect, and there were multiple times where the entire SmartBoard malfunctioned. In fact, one day the teacher forgot to use the special SmartBoard pens to draw on the board and picked up a regular Expo marker to begin teaching. That was a very interesting and amusing thing to witness. However, when the teacher turned on a video or taught an interesting lesson, it could also be enhanced by the use of the SmartBoard.
With a new accessibility to communicate and study, students were eager to learn more through the use of computers. This fresh new invention also benefited the teachers, as they were now teaching and assessing their students in a new light, as well as adapting to the use of the new pens. It has been found that through the effective implementation of digital learning tools in classrooms, teachers can improve their lesson plans, help students build essential 21st-century skills, and facilitate personalized learning. Through the bright and captivating lights of a SmartBoard, students are quickly entranced and engaged in classes that encourage curiosity and imagination. Technology offers students quick access to valuable knowledge, rapid learning, and enjoyable opportunities to put what they have learned into practice quicker.
These days, you can find thousands of answers and links online by simply typing in the words, “What is the answer to number 22 in my math homework?”
Nevertheless, implementing and using instructional technology is not without its faults.
While some students excel in technology-supported learning environments, others struggle for a variety of reasons, such as a lack of extra assistance and one-on-one help from teachers.
Excessive over usage of screen time, how well teachers actually utilize the technology, and fears about technology fairness are other common issues. The utilization and benefits of technology are extremely accessible for all. Teachers are open to making use of this in their classrooms, but must ensure that the education given to the students is not diminished to only watching a screen all day.
Technology is strictly a tool to improve education and never sufficient on its own. The potential of educational technology depends on how the educators take advantage of it to best meet the needs of the students.
Talya Lippman is a student contributor for the Bellmore & Merrick Heralds.