The classroom is a symbol for education. When one refers to the classroom in general, most often the reference applies to the act of educating children in the same sense. Notions of technology in the classroom necessarily refer to notions of technology in the act of educating children more effectively and more efficiently than without those teaching aids…
As the ease of use for technology increases, and as students come into the classroom increasingly knowledgeable about how to use computers and mobile devices, it seems that more technology is being used in educational contexts. When used properly, technology has the promise to greatly benefit students in mathematics, readings, as well as other subjects; making the most of it, however, requires careful pedagogical decisions and considerations as any change in the classroom bears inherent risks for the welfare of the student. The discussion about the possible effects of technology is most often framed in a way that pits attention to learning as opposed to attention to distractions. Educational institutions are reluctant to embrace technology, especially games and social networking, as a means toward training (Klopfer, Osterweil, Groff, & Haas, 2009). However, this reluctance may not be entirely deserved, outside of the stereotype of a young child sitting in front of his computer instead of sitting in front of a book. These two spheres of interaction need not be phrased in terms of oppositions; for instance, the emergence of the electronic book has made it possible for interaction with text and interaction with computers to be simultaneous acts (Rose, Meyer, & Strangman, 2002). In the classroom, this integration of experience may be beneficial in terms of providing exposure to the curriculum being taught and to developing technologies. As mentioned previously, an important consideration in this regard is the level of technology a teacher is (a) comfortable with and (b) capable of using in an educational setting. Guzman and Nussbaum (2009) focus on “domains and competencies linked to teacher training propositions for technology integration” (p. 453). The most helpful point of organizing propositions about teachers’ technology in this way is that we realize that a high level of comfortability or capability with technology is not a necessary and sufficient condition for bringing about a particular educational outcome for students. Another criticism of using technology in the classroom is that a teacher needs to be highly skilled in using technology in order to use it in the classroom (Klopfer, Osterweil, Groff, & Haas, 2009, p. 7). However, this is not the case. A more crucial skill is in determining the purpose and goals of using particular technologies in the classroom, before delving into using them. In other words, what is necessary is an “understanding on the part of teachers of the pedagogical principles that sustain these actions and orient them towards the optimization of teaching and learning” (Guzman & Nussbaum, 2009, p. 458). My previous teaching methodology involved dismissing classroom technology on both of these grounds, both for my own classroom and for others. The first criticism, that technology is inherently distracting, was an argument against educational technology in my own classroom. The second criticism, that technology to be properly used requires a high degree of skilled, was an argument against educational technology in general. On that basis, I rejected any possible role that the internet or computers can have on enriching a discussion, training students on how to use technology to accomplish academic goals, or research certain topics. In order to prevent distracting stimuli for the ...
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