Technology can often be compared to a double-edged sword. It can be leveraged as a powerful tool to educate, liberate and illuminate people, but if not used well, the same tools of technology can distract people, veering them away from their goals and aims.
Similarly, in a classroom, introducing technology to students has many pros and cons. While on one hand, many experts believe that technology allows educators to personalise, adapt and experiment in pedagogy, on the other hand, technology in the classroom can be distracting to the students and adds to the increased screen time of students.
Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the pros and cons of having technology in the classroom:
- Experiment with pedagogy
Technology creates an environment that allows students and teachers to actively learn through a variety of pedagogy. From videos to online polls and virtual trips, the use of technology gives teachers unlimited access to free digital tools and resources that will help to make the subject more relevant to students and engage them better for long-term learning.
- Immediate access to the latest information
Introducing technology in the classroom gives students access to information that is up-to-date. Instead of relying on obsolete textbooks, in a technology-driven classroom, there is a collaborative learning environment where students work together to share information together and access the most relevant and efficient information.
- Automates monotonous tasks
Using technology in the classroom is an effective way to save teachers and school staff from the boredom of monotonous tasks and save time on repetitive tasks. Using technology, teachers can grade online assignments, take attendance, plan lessons as well as send out regular messages to parents about their children. Using the school ERP system gives teachers a variety of tools and resources and frees up their time to instead focus on teaching better in the classroom.
- Students learn an essential life skill
Today, we live in a digital world, and getting familiar with technology is an essential life skill. One of the most important goals of a school is to train the kids for adult life. Giving students opportunities to interact and engage with social media tools and technology is a great way to prepare students to be the future citizens of a digital world without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed
- Makes student independent learners
Technology also enables students to be independent learners where teachers could assign collaborative tasks and encourage them to complete them using technology. In this case, instead of spoon-feeding the information to the students, they learn to leverage digital tools to get the academic queries resolved and learn of their own.
- Technology can be a distraction
As often seen in the real world, technology in the classroom can often be a distraction for students. The online world is filled with ads, games and other forms of distraction that can veer students away from the task at hand. The best way to combat this is by setting up strict rules and regulations when accessing online tools. This can ensure that technology does not interfere with education but only aids learning
- Too much screen time
Many parents and teachers fear that introducing technology in the classroom will lead too much screen time for students. Some people believe that staring at a screen during school hours simply compounds an already existing problem where children use screen stimulation for learning and entertainment. This screen time can not only be detrimental to the eyesight of the kids but can lead to mental exhaustion as well.
The only way to counter this is by setting in place strict timelines on the number of hours students use a device and compensating that with outdoor play and learning
- Technology can foster cheating
Cheating in assignments and exams is not a new phenomenon, but the use the technology makes it easier for students to copy-paste someone else’s work, or to simply steal essays and assignment ideas from other students.
To counter this problem, teachers could work towards structuring assignments and exams in a way that makes cheating impossible. Many schools offer open book exams, where the focus of the examination is problem-solving and mastery rather than rote learning and retention.
- Lack of human connection
There are many who feel that technology can create a classroom environment devoid of human connection. As each student concentrates and works on their device, the classroom can turn into an anti-social place as there will be limited interaction between peers,
However, with adequate care and emphasis on peer-to-peer connection, this too can be resolved
- Promotes inequality in the classroom
While education brings students closer together, technology in the classroom can make students aware of their socio-economic status as not every student can easily afford smart devices and laptops. This can lead to a divide in the classroom.
While there are plenty of pros and cons of introducing technology into the classroom, schools need to work towards setting and creating guides to ensure that students do not abuse digital media in the classroom.
The world is evolving towards becoming a hyper-connected digital place and the correct use of technology in the classroom with adequate supervision can ensure that the students learn better. The use of technology and school management system not only benefits the students, but it streamlines various tasks and processes for the teachers, making education less stressful and more enjoyable
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