Technology in Today’s Classrooms
Do you remember lugging your books to and from school every day? How about stuffing them in your locker while trying to keep track of your calculator, pens, and pencils? For future students and even some current ones, these common school quandaries may never be a problem again. Computers and advancing technology are changing the way classrooms work and providing students new ways to learn. A few schools around the country have already made the drastic conversion – students work with a laptop computer everyday instead of a textbook, pencil, and paper. With textbooks often obsolete before they’re even opened, students have access to all of the most up to date information at their finger tips. They learn to type at an early age and get the specialized treatment they need through computer software. While some schools are taking advantage of computers in the classroom, others are utilizing them from outside the school.
The Internet Revolution
Rather than providing computers in the classroom, some schools are letting students use their own computers from home. Enrollment in online virtual classes reached the one million mark last year in the United States, which is about 22 times the amount in 2000. Currently, that accounts for only 1% of high school courses, but education experts believe that will reach 50% before 2020. These online courses allow students to work at their own pace and receive all the help they need from their virtual teacher. It also gives parents a greater opportunity to help their children and monitor their progress. Perhaps the greatest advantage of utilizing the internet and computers for classrooms - it familiarizes students with today’s technology so that they can use tomorrow’s in the real world.
While online courses and computers in classrooms are making learning more accessible and convenient for everyone, there are some concerns regarding these changes. For one, some teachers don’t exactly live on the cutting edge of technology. They’re used to the more traditional methods of teaching and even feel threatened by the new developments. They may have good reason to feel threatened too, as more schools move classes online, the demand for teachers goes down. Another possible issue comes from the lack of interaction among online students. School is where most children and adolescents mature and learn important life lessons, taking away from that may leave that unprepared for the future. With the technological revolution already well on its way at many schools, these are important concerns to address and resolve in the coming years.