(Salend, 2009, pp. 49-54) Along with engaging students, the use of these technological tools can help to provide students with skills they will need to succeed in a contemporary society. (Besnoy, 2006, p.34) Although there is a learning curve to any new technology, there are also great benefits that it can provide. For example, using technology-based assessments and clickers not only record and give feedback on student performance quickly, they also help teachers to identify problem areas to address. Another strategy that can be very beneficial is the use of computer sim... ... middle of paper ... ...nd pick areas of comfort.
Rather, assessment gives teachers a better picture of a student’s abilities and capabilities in the classroom. Thus, currently the debate continues over assessment versus testing in the classroom due to the demand for knowledge on whether or not testing is a good way of measuring a student’s progress in school. In the context of education, testing refers to “a method to determine a student’s ability to complete certain tasks or demonstrate mastery of a skill or knowledge” (Danuri 2012). Assessment is “the process of gathering information to monitor progress and make any decisions necessary” regarding curriculum and teaching (Danuri 2012). Assessment is a process that measures growth over time whereas testing is a form of evaluating what a student knows at... ... middle of paper ... ...ion.
Now, there is a goal for educators to use technology as a tool in efforts to teach more effectively by using a variety of strategies to meet different needs in a diverse classroom. This will take training and commitment to keep up in an area that changes quickly, but the benefits to teachers and students are greater that the effort it will take to stay informed; computers increase productivity of students and make learning a fun experience. They help students become better problem-solvers instead of just rote learners. By the time a student is in middle school he or she should be able to use software tools such as word processing , data bases, spreadsheets, and telecommunications. But the computer can be used for so much more.
It is important to note that the use of technology in the classroom can foster learning and improve student’s critical and reflective thinking skills. Teachers and administrators should select materials and technology that are developmentally appropriate and designed to engage the interest in learning. An effective leader has a vision of learning and allows students to set individual goals and plans to reach these goals; the use of technology can increase students’ success. Since the educational reform of No Child Left Behind, educators have struggled to meet the learning standards set by their state and federal government. High academic standards in all core curriculum areas and accountability through assessment are an important aspect in the educational arena.
The following reflective essay will focus on technology and its importance in addressing the needs of digital learners. The essay will begin by addressing ways reasons for the integration of technology in education, as well as discussing ways in which teachers can use technology to enhance learning and student engagement. Secondly, the essay will examine how teachers can become part of the learning process by empowering students to serve as knowledge brokers. The essay will close by assessing ways in which technology can be used to meet the diverse learning needs of today’s students, specifically those with special educational needs. Part One: Engaging Students with Technology Today’s students have very different needs than those of previous generations (Prensky, 2001).
If you were to examine the effect of technology on teaching and learning and acquire an understanding of why technology should be a part of every classroom curriculum, what would the conclusion be? Technology is a great benefit to the classroom, it stimulates our digital generation and allows educators to be more creative with curriculum. “Technology has provided the opportunity to create an entirely new learning environment; it has significantly increased the range and sophistication of possible classroom activities” (Hawkins 1997). The vast majority of youths today, grow up with computers and encounter some form of digital learning (Kolikant, 2009). The idea that has had the most impact is that the technology today will be outpaced by the next generation.
This allows the students to make sense of what they are doing by relating it to the real world and where they could use the information in their future. Con: Constructivism classrooms do not have much room for structure (Rhinehart Neas). For new teachers, structure is important to maintain to have control of the classroom. Constructivism is meant for classrooms that can be more student centered than teacher controlled. For new teachers this method could not work very well.
For these reasons, ongoing classroom assessment is the glue that binds teaching and learning together and allows educators to monitor their efficacy and student learning. In spite of the importance of assessment in education, few teachers receive proper training on how to design or analyze assessments. Due to this, when teachers are not provided with suitable assessments from their textbooks or instructional resources, teachers construct their own in an unsystematic manner. They create questions and essay prompts comparable to the ones that their teachers used, and they treat them as evaluations to administer when instructional activities are completed predominantly for allocating students' grades. In order to use assessments to improve instruction and student learning, teachers need to change their approach to assessments by making sure that they create sound assessments.
Teachers should be aware of how much work goes into integrating technology. It must meet a long list of criteria and be intentional in its presentation to students. If technology was not working as an effective teaching tool then why would it be used? However, that is not the case because it works and it does make a difference. So current and future teachers, please understand that integrating technology is a lot of work, but the outcomes are positive and effective.