ASU/PV New Media Class
Getting the Most from Technology in Schools“Getting the Most from Technology in Schools” by Noel White, Cathy Ringstaff and Loretta Kelley WestEd Article http://www.thesnorkel.org/articles.htm This article discusses many issues that are related to using technology in the classroom. There is much research done on the subject but it is suggested that there are many more benefits to using technology in the classroom than the research suggests. Some of the benefits of using technology in the classroom are: an increase in student achievement, an improvement in higher order thinking, enhanced motivation and student engagement. Also, having students learn from computer based technology can improve basic skills. Although all of the above mentioned effects of using technology are greatly beneficial to student success, it is important to keep in mind a few things while integrating technology into the classroom. One of the most important things to remember is that the use of technology can have a positive effect when used for certain purposes, and it is important that teachers only use it when it is the best tool to complete the task, not just because it is there. Too often, teachers use technology just because they can but it does not enhance the learning in any way. It is also important to have a goal and an outcome in mind prior and then match the technology to the goal. It is also suggested that student engagement lasts longer if the teacher is using the technology if it is the best tool to use, because if not, students can become bored with the technology because it is used too often for the wrong purpose. Another important issue facing the use of technology in the classroom is teacher training. It is very important for teachers to be adequately trained so that they can be aware of all of the capabilities of technology. In addition, it is mentioned that it is important for teachers to have an attitude that is consistent with the goals that they are setting forth with the use of technology. The best way for a teacher to understand the impact that technology can have in their classroom is to observe another teacher using it. This shows them that they are capable of achieving their goals as well through the use of technology. The article also suggests that organizations should spend about 30 percent of their technology budget on equipment and the other 70 percent on support and trainging. Technology can be used in the classroom in a variety of ways. Even the littlest things such as using e-mail allow students to work with students in another country. It can also be used to meet the needs of every learner because the teacher can differentiate the way in which they are using the technology based on the individual needs of his or her students. The article also made some suggestions that would help schools become more successful with the integration of technology. It is optimal if there is a 1 to 5 computer to student ratio and the computers should be accessible in the classrooms, not just the computer lab. Research has also shown that kids that have access to computers at home have shown improvement in basic skills. I really enjoyed this article and think that it has some great information for teachers and administrators that are looking to better integrate technology in their schools. Some of the most interesting information was the percent of budget that should be spent on teacher training and support. That goes to show that you can have great equipment, but if the teachers do not know how to use it, then it is worthless and will not help the kids at all. I also thought that it was a great suggestion to watch other teachers use technology in the classroom. Sometimes it sounds really scary to do a lesson with the laptops, but if you are able to see another teacher be successful at it, you are more likely to try it. I think that teachers need to keep an open mind when it comes to technology and be willing to try new things, because research shows that the kids will benefit from it.