Technology can increase student learning. Integrating technology into classroom instruction can enhance the presentation of the curriculum and promote a higher level of learning that is increases the rate that students can absorb the material.
Technology in the 20th Century
Technology has always been a part of learning. Technology includes inventions that increase human’s ability learn faster, adapt to the environment and to function in the world. At one point a pencil was a great technological invention. Now we are talking about Google glasses. There have been a lot of inventions over the years that have changed the way humans exist in the world. Technology has changed the way we travel and how we see and understand the wonders of the universe.
In the 20th century technology began to develop at a rapid pace. Much of this progress can be attributed to the use of the scientific method and other research techniques. Technologies such as radio, radar and sound recording lead the way for telephones, fax machines and eventually magnetic storage of data. The US National Academy of Engineering (2012) voted and determined that the following 20 technological developments were the most important of the 20th century:
- Automobile Airplane
- Water supply and distribution
- Radio and television
- Mechanized agriculture
- Air conditioning and refrigeration
- Household appliances
- Health technologies
- Petroleum and petrochemical technologies
- Laser and fiber optics
- Nuclear technologies
- Material science
Additionally the systematic method of mass production is important in that it contributed to the development of all of the items on the list (Meieran, 2012).
Technology in the 21st century
Technology in the 21st century has seen marked development in electronics. Developed countries welcomed the development of Broadband Internet access. Other important developments in technology in the 21st century are biotechnology, bioengineering, alternative fuels, LEDs and solar cells.
Technology can be used to enhance student learning. The success of technology integration rests completely on the ability of the teacher to select the best application to use to teach the concept. The ability of the teacher to use the application and teach students to use the technology plays a large role in the success of technology integration. At this point, there is a large disparity in the technological ability of teachers. There has been much discussion of the concept of digital natives vs. digital immigrants (Prensky, 2001). Whether you subscribe to this school of thought, or not, it is obvious that not all teachers are equally equipped to integrate technology into instruction. Also, not all schools are equally equipped with the equipment for the students they teach. This combined with the fact that technology is progressing at an ever increasing rate makes it very challenging for teachers to stay abreast of the latest trends while still managing to teach what ever standards are required.
Despite these challenges, I still believe that technology is the way of the future. Modern students love their technology and any use of it always increases the engagement of students in a very observable manner. My favorite technology tools for the classroom are e-responders, iPads (or tablets, but preferably iPads), interactive whiteboards, and YouTube. I know that there are so many other important inventions but for me, this is where I would start when equipping my dream classroom.
Technology already enhances my instruction. The Smartboard is the center of my classroom and my students know it. They know that all concepts will be delivered in a visually, and usually multi-media, manner. I have a Masters in Educational Media Design and Technology from Full Sail University and I put it to very good use. I treasure my Educational Media Design education and put it to use in my classroom every day.
Meieran, E.S. (2012) 21st Century Innovations. Retrieved from http://www.engineeringchallenges.org /cms/7126/8275.aspx
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. Retrieved from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/prensky%20-%20digital%20natives,%20digital%20immigrants%20-%20part1.pdf