Clinton’s administration pushed academic researchers in conducting case studies on the impacts that technology has on classroom performance. This was as a result of improved usage of technology by both learners and educators, yet there was little being done on finding out if technological development brought about academic achievements. Despite the massive investment on enhancing learning processes by use of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), most learning institutions have lagged in performance. This has prompted the need to research on technology use in learning, and its impacts on performance (Fitzbibbon and Prior, 2010).
As technology continues to be incorporated in the current school curriculum around the world, understanding the implications of the use of TEL is extremely crucial. Recent studies indicate that teachers use technology in teaching rather than an educational tool. Technology has been used in situations that are not warranting, and this may be extended to being defined as the misuse (Wenglinsky, 2005). The cost related to such se is extremely high, and this imposes high expenditures on the government.
While implementing technological use as an educational tool, it is, therefore, critical to assess its need, the tasks that can be accomplished without its use and the costs related to its implementation (Fitzbibbon and Prior, 2010). Research indicates that as technology continues to become an integrated part of everyone’s life, children have become the most frequent users of the facility. The issue of concern, however, remains on how they use the available features. Findings reveal that most children use technology as a fast means of accessing their pals through social interactions instead of conducting educative research.
The use of technology as an educative tool can enhance learning if used appropriately, and accordingly. The extent to which technology is beneficial to learning depends on how the educators implement it while in class. Although the method in which technology is distributed amongst learners may not change the message, the mode of delivery and how it is incorporated can change how the message is absorbed and retained.
Technology allows development of interaction and dialogue between educators and learners. This improves thinking and development of ideas required in learning. As teachers implement technology in class they boost the capability of the learners to think widely and come up with innovative ideas, which boost their academic performance. Fitzbibbon and Prior (2010) finds it critical for combination of technological tools, books, and other reading materials in allowing teachers to humanize the world, and allow students to have a real perspective of the events that shape the world.
The incorporation of technological tools in class is useful as it results to flow of ideas leading to increase in a student’s productivity. Certain technologies provide greater abilities to reproduce facts and information as compared to use of books. They allow easy processing of information, which boosts understanding (Gould, 2011). For instance, the use of mobile technology in Kent State University allows learners to have a rich and interactive experience, which boosts sharing of ideas in learning. The use of technology has also been seen as a tool used by students in solving authentic and complex problems. For instance, using programs such as SPSS in research methodology allows students to solve what may seem complex in theoretical from by programming it to solve the equations.
However, putting too much weight on the use of technological tools, rather than gaining knowledge and skills from facts, may adversely impact on a learner’s development. Brown (2011) views that there should be an appropriate definition on when the use of technology for learning is crucial, place and time interval to minimize its impacts on creativity, balancing of technological tools with other learning material allows learners to minimize loss of information, acquire new knowledge, and boost their information exchange processes.
Policy makers argue that the introduction of technology in classroom enhances a student’s productivity through the reduction of the role of teachers. It allows students to teach themselves as well as boost their thinking capacity (Fitzbibbon and Prior, 2010). Through the use of worksheets and computer programs, students can conduct online research, and complete their curriculum faster than with the use of books, and other learning material. However, this has been criticized on displacement of teacher’s role in class and on its overall effectiveness since not every student can afford the provision.
A student’s success should be measured in three dimensions; standard movement, technological movement, and the quality of teacher. Students need to have high academic standards. Technology is one of the tools that assist students in achieving high standards. There is the need for interconnectedness between standards, technology and teacher’s quality. Brown (2011) argues that this can be achieved by providing professional development in computer use amongst teachers so that they are comfortable to apply technological tools for learning. Teachers also require professional development, on technology use, so that they are capable of providing sophisticated ways on how to use technology so that it fits in the pedagogical teaching techniques.
The teacher’s development in technology would imply that they have the required skills in balancing between technology use and knowledge acquired from other learning tools. This would create an environment suitable to determine when to use technology, and when to use the skills from the teachers. It would also facilitate information shift and processing, which boost of assimilation of information amongst students (Wenglinsky, 2005). In addition, it would facilitate practical work from theories learnt in class. Putting theories learnt in class into practice enables students to have a feel of reality. This boosts their understanding, thinking, and eventually boosts their academic performance.
Prior to use of any technology in class should be clear and measurable objectives to determine how and when technology should be used (Gould, 2011). The educational objectives of the curriculum should determine which technological tool to apply for any given class. This ensures maximum use of available technology, and minimizes improper use. It should not be used out of its availability but rather as a tool enabling students and teachers to meet the learning goals in a class (Brown, 2011). Learners should also have a learning control measure intended to increase motivation, and become active in the learning process. Sometimes the use of technology such as laptops may lead to being dormant and overreliance. It is, therefore, crucial that students have a control measure on when appropriate to use technology in learning.
In conclusion, technology should only be used to facilitate the learning process, and not as a reference or a cognitive learning tool. While incorporation of technology in curriculum helps in absorbing more information than dependency on theoretical from books, its usage should be measured so that learners do not depend totally on it (Fitzbibbon and Prior, 2010). With the increase in use of technology, in the modern world, it is crucial that students start using technological devices while in class. The success of technological use in increasing performance is, however, dependent on the strategy that educators use to assist learning.
Brown, J. M. (December 2011). Does the use of Technology in the Classroom Increase student’s Overall Academic Performance?
Fitzbibbon, K. & Prior, J. (2010). The Changing Nature of Students’ Social Experience Within University. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol.2(1).
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Gould, T. H. P. (2011). Creating the academic commons: Guidelines for learning, teaching, and research. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press. Bottom of Form
Wenglinsky, H. (2005). Using Technology Wisely: The Keys to Success in Schools. New York and London: Teachers College, Columbia University.