Smart phones, e-readers and tablets are often seen in the hands of the average 21st century student. Technology’s rapid pace of innovation provides students with resources to get through their studies. Especially apparent in Orange County, schools are working to productively implement technology in the classroom in order to help students learn.
The use of technology in schools provides students with the opportunity to bring their lessons home. Therefore, if used in moderation and with good intentions, technology can be worthwhile.
In Orange County, many schools are replacing white boards with variations of the SMART Board, are using tablets in the classroom and are implementing personal teacher websites into courses. Students are then able to take the lessons home when they visit their teachers’ websites. This enables students to get ahead in the sense that they have more opportunities to clear up confusion or misunderstandings in their own time.
Many schools allow their students to bring their own devices to class for educational purposes. It is much more convenient for a student to have access to all of their books with the swipe of a finger, than to carry a bundle of textbooks and novels to class each day. With Wi-Fi enabled devices or Internet access, students can efficiently research during school hours or can complete an assignment during a break period. Access to these resources also helps students exercise time management and productivity.
In Orange County, propositions such as Measure N in Fountain Valley School District and Measure S in the Tustin Unified School District aim to raise funds to support wireless technology, buy new materials and eventually upgrade the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs and enhance instruction in the classroom. If passed, the bonds will eventually produce the money necessary to carry out these plans. It is evident that growing technology produces positive results in the classroom.
Having too much access to resources, however, can foster negative results. In order for students to maintain technology’s privileges, they have to be proactive during school hours. Some sort of integrity among students is necessary in order to be able to keep the privileges that come with technology use in the classroom. Although it may seem tempting, updating a Facebook status during physics class does not provide as much benefit as researching the practical application of nuclear fusion. Moreover, there should be a limit put on the amount of technology used on a day-to-day basis.
All of this seemingly begs the question: How much is too much? Free reign over social networking sites and the Internet encourages technology addictions, which ends up being a distraction to students’ educations.
In my opinion, the positive benefits of having technology implemented in classrooms far succeed the actions of irresponsible students. The ability to take advantage of 21st century advancements for educational purposes provide students with resources that allow them to become more productive in the long run.