Wednesday, July 6, 2011

 Technology in the Classroom
As a member of the millennial generation and a fifth year teacher I am definitely familiar with the ins and outs of technology integration in the classroom.  Growing up technology has been a major part of my everyday life.  I was about eight years old when my parents bought our family a Nintendo and about twelve when they bought our first home personal computer.   Needless to say for most of my life I have been using technology for recreation and education at home and at school.  Technology has definitely improved the ways in which I learn and process information.  Since its inception into my life, my mind has seemed to model its organization and retrieval style to that of a central processing unit thereby improving the efficiency of my cognitive functioning.  As an educator, I have definitely capitalized on my technological aptitude and my students have most certainly felt the positive impact.     
            According to “Technology in the Classroom” (2010), “The traditional definition of literacy is the ability to read and write. With the rapid development of new technologies, the nature of literacy is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis.  Thus in addition to reading and writing, “the current definition of literacy also includes the ability to learn, comprehend, and interact with technology in a meaningful way” (p.3).  Technology’s importance of implementation into the classroom has been so significantly recognized that the federal government of the United States has mandated national and state standards of instruction to be inserted into the curriculum.  These standards ensure that students will be equipped with a healthy technological repertoire to be formidable in today’s highly competitive and technologically advanced job market.  By virtue of the nature of our progressively evolving multicultural society technological aptitude has become a cornerstone of a solid contemporary education as it provides a virtual window to the world (Technology, 2010).
The first step in integrating technology into a school is figuring out the logistics of all equipment necessary to equip the campus properly.  According to McKenzie (1998), a ratio of 1 computer per three students is what is necessary to properly enhance the overall learning experience within a classroom.  She goes on to further state that the computers on a campus are only as useful as the teachers aptitude at using them.  After computers are in place, the next step is for the district and campuses to decide what type of software they want to purchase to optimize learning and stay within budget.  Aside from the internet which offers a seemingly infinite array of free learning programs, quality educational software comes at hefty price with the average site license for 30 computers costing several thousand dollars per year (1998).  McKenzie (1998) recommends that districts prescreen software based on seven performance enhancing criteria: 1) questioning, 2) planning, 3) prospecting, 4) collecting, 5) interpreting, 6) reporting, and 7) communicating.   Once campuses have completed these aforementioned steps they must develop a habit of consistent use that exposes the students to the technology as frequently as possible so that they benefit from it as much as possible.
According to “Effects of Technology on the Classroom,” the benefits from technological application into a school system are seven fold.  First, the student becomes actively engaged in learning and the teacher assumes a more vigilant stance as the monitor the students as the progress through their learning experience.  Second, research shows that technology in the classroom increases a student’s motivation and self esteem because it allows them to advance frequently and provides them with immediate feedback.  Third, technology use improves student’s technical skills far beyond what they would be without technological supplementation.  Fourth, the support and help functions within most software programs allows students a crutch to fall back on which consequently allows them to tackle more complex problems.  Fifth,  the advent of school based social networking and forums promote a high level of cooperative learning and collaboration by reducing the social anxiety encountered by face to face scenarios.  Sixth, technologies far reaching hands allow students to pull information from sources around the world which strengthens and deepens their research as well as promoting a more worldly perspective on life.  Seventh, the graphic abilities of technology allow students to tailor their work in a way that can capture the attention of their desired audience by utilizing newfound design skills.  Overall, application of technology into schools significantly enhances the learning experience and in our rapid technologically advancing society it is imperative we train the future generations in the ways of the microchip so that they will have a fighting chance at finding their place in the job market of the future.

Effects of technology on classrooms and students. (n.d.). Technology and education reform. Retrieved June 20, 2011, from

McKenzie, J. (1998). The wired classroom: Creating technology enhanced student-centered learning environments. Retrieved June 20, 2011,

Technology in the classroom. (2010). Teachnology. Retrieved June 20, 2011, from

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