Use of Technology in the Classroom: Potentials and Pitfalls

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Use of Technology in the Classroom: Potentials and Pitfalls

In the last decade, increasingly powerful technologies have begun to make their way into classrooms across the nation. Many classrooms are now equipped with personal computers that run educational software to help teach students facts and concepts in a more engaging way than a traditional lecture. Advances in telecommunications technologies have led to almost universal access to the Internet, allowing students and teachers to communicate with people from around the world and gain access to a wealth of educational materials. New ways of obtaining and presenting information have given students powerful new methods for understanding the world around them. However, while use of technology in the classroom has been shown to be highly beneficial for students, it is important to note that without a well-planned technology support system, this expensive educational technology often goes under- or mis-utilized..

Technology in the classroom can significantly enhance student performance. Lessons that utilize computers and technology can be more interactive and hands-on, increasing student engagement and motivation. Schools that have implemented computers and other technology in the classroom report higher attendance and lower dropout rates than in the past (Braun 7). Teachers report that students are more challenged, engaged, and independent when using technology (U.S. Department of Education). A 1995 study funded by the U.S. Department of Education concluded that in the nine technology-rich schools studied, the use of technology resulted in educational gains for all students, regardless of age, race, parental income, or other characteristics (Means and Olson).

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Means, Barbara, and Kerry Olson. “Beyond the Classroom: Restructuring Schools with Technology.” Phi Delta Kappan 77.1 (1995): 69.

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