Student learning is an area with enormous potential to benefit from information technology. Information dissemination is, after all, a core strength of today’s technologies. And digital technology offers versatile platforms to streamline classroom teaching.
While technology unlocks innovation opportunities, blended teaching and learning are not without disadvantages. What are the downsides that come with the powers and benefits of technology?
Debate is still going on concerning potential harm from integrating technology into the classroom. Let’s look at both sides by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of students accessing computers and digital information.
Advantages of Technology in Education
By offering digital tools and learning platforms, technology offers great advantages in school education. Students have more information at their fingertips and build technology skills. Tech can do some tasks equally or better than teachers, including administration, data gathering and supporting self-direct learning. Here are the top five pros to technology in the classroom.
1. Access high-quality, current information
Modern technology is fantastic when it comes to making information available to everyone. In a classroom setting, getting the most up-to-date data helps ensure the best educational experience. Teachers are also able to use or direct students towards trusted sources to ensure accurate information.
Students are also able to assimilate information more efficiently with the interactive presentation that digital technology allows. Instead of reading through text sequentially, the teacher or student can navigate information on a topic using hyperlinks, tabs, accordions, etc. References can be checked immediately as well.
Classroom technology definitely beats paper textbooks for accessing relevant information quickly. The trick is to place structure around activities to maintain focus and ensure the class is covering the same material. The need to keep everyone on the same page so to speak is a limiting factor in the use of technology for gaining information.
2. Gather student performance metrics easily
A clear and powerful advantage of using technology in education is that it allows teachers to perform their job better. The automatic collection of data in digital testing and learning environments has the benefits of: allowing more student performance data to be collected, freeing teachers from repetitive grading exercises, and providing instant feedback to students.
Platforms that yield data analytics can pinpoint the areas where each student is having most difficulty. Performance information allows instructors to quickly adjust teaching strategies and the syllabus according to the data gathered and analyzed.
When a given learning goal can be achieved with technology or traditional methods with about equal effectiveness, the technology-based approach may be preferred just because of the data advantages. Once in this digital environment, the technology and instructional content may be improved over time, leaving traditional instruction techniques further and further behind.
3. Students learn technology skills
Using technology in the classroom naturally increases opportunities for students to learn technology skills. While it’s possible to take all but the simplest IT skills out of a lesson, keeping some technical challenges in there is healthy for student development. After all, we live in a digital world and have things like virtual offices and working online from home.
Children are fast learners when it comes to most things but especially with technology. Given the chance, they’ll quickly build computer operation skills and digital literacy. Examples of skills they’ll learn include keyboard awareness, logging in and password protection, navigating apps, setting preferences, online document sharing, and using standard software such as text editors and spreadsheet workbooks.
Teachers can offer exercises that give pupils the opportunity to test and expand their capabilities. For example, you can give students freedom in how they present project results. The smart ones, who could perhaps become IT professionals in the future, will find and deploy internet resources, such as graphics or charting software, to enhance the presentation.
4. Improved student participation and engagement
Students generally love technology and introducing it is a way to boost engagement. Mixing up traditional instruction styles with technology makes the class less predictable and the learning environment more dynamic.
Examples of how teachers can inject technology are to: direct students to online resources, present short videos, use interactive software, make digital presentations, and ask students to create digital content themselves.
Online platforms are often flexible in allowing you to exercise your creativity. You can, for instance, customize quizzes to make them more engaging and competitive. Any good resources you find online might be useful additions to the lesson. The possibilities are limitless.
You can also apply technology to get more information from reserved students. If you need to ask the opinion of everyone regarding a topic or even a simple question, why not use an online polling platform? This way, even quiet students who normally wouldn’t want to speak in the classroom will participate.
5. Automate repetitive tasks
Teaching can include tedious tasks such as keeping track of attendance, recording quiz scores and noting tasks completed. With the present technology available, such tasks can now be partially or fully automated. This can unlock time teachers are able to divert to substantive teaching endeavors.
Existing technology can be used to help teachers in several areas: planning lessons, assessing students, grading homework, giving feedback and administrative paperwork.Jill Barshay(Video) Pros and Cons of Implementing Technology in the Classroom
Implementing technology is not a costless exercise however and the effectiveness depends on how well software is programmed and made easy to use. But, over time, we can expect the work of teachers to become more streamlined. Instructors will have fewer administrative tasks and more time to capitalize on human strengths, such as making connections, inspiring students and creating a sense of shared purpose.
Disadvantages to Technology in the Classroom
The recency of many innovations means we’re still grappling with how best to incorporate technology in schools. Educators may lack the time and knowledge to implement tech effectively. Using technology without sufficient care can produce poorer learning outcomes and cause students to miss out on social interaction. These are key cons of technology in the classroom and online education.
1. Faster but less memorable learning
While the lightning pace with which technology operates may seem like a clear benefit, experienced educators are actually wary of this aspect. Devices and learning apps are able to function faster than the corresponding learning speed of the human mind. Students may gloss over material, missing texture and depth along the way.
Proper and coherent cognitive thought takes time. Otherwise, engagement can be drastically reduced. It’s for this reason experts are suggesting we modify media use, such as how videos are presented, to slow down and allow for more rumination and contemplation.
The simple act of writing something by hand has slowing, stimulatory effects that brain research has shown to aid both learning and memorization. Although efficient, typing is repetitive as each keystroke is almost the same action. Writing by hand is more challenging, intricate and slower, allowing your brain to form more “hooks” to imprint thoughts.
2. Technology can be distracting
Devices such as laptops and tablets in the classroom are bound to become sources of distraction to students. This is especially true if the software doesn’t prevent access to apps unrelated to lessons, quizzes and other educational activities.
A need exists for appropriate restrictive measures on gadgets in education to ensure they further learning goals and aren’t used, for example, to play games or use social media for pure entertainment. You can be sure that some badly behaved students will always try to use technology for fun instead of the intended purpose.
A problem here is that high school students may be more tech savvy than their teachers. One technique students use to access out-of-bounds sites is to go to a proxy site that delivers content from other sites without the student technically visiting those sites. Another method to bypass a school firewall is to use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt browsing data so the student’s internet activities can’t be monitored.
3. Less direct social interaction
The apparent way in which technology excises social interaction is another cause for concern. Students have less need to verbally communicate and interact with their teachers and one another when using technology. Online teaching and learning excludes face-to-face interaction altogether.
To address this, classroom teachers should ensure activities such as oral presentations, recitations and group work happen regularly. There needs to be a mindfulness that we’re trying to prepare well-rounded people for adulthood.
For students addicted to gaming or social media, school might actually be a place where they get some downtime from tech. It’s up to teachers to identify when students are spending too much time with their heads buried in devices. When technology isn’t being used, students should be encouraged or pressed to show some life and interact.
4. Integrating tech is often time consuming
While technology could make the job of a teacher very easy in the future, we are not there yet. Devising effective lessons using digital technology rather than traditional methods can be challenging and time consuming. That’s why it’s important for educators to share their insights on how to effectively teach kids when there is technology in the classroom.
Showing up to your class and teaching by talking and interacting with students doesn’t require special preparation. But when you make extensive use of technology during the lesson, you’re normally going to have to prepare for that. Teachers taking advantage of technology have the same amount of face-to-face instruction time but may need to do more planning, placing an extra strain on their workload.
Online learning when classes are held remotely have shown the limitations of tech. Just trying to corral students, to ensure they’re all logged in and paying attention, is a challenge in itself. The quality of lessons suffers as educators grapple with tech while trying to meet the practical learning needs of students.
Technology in the Classroom Provides Teachers With More Tools To Support Students. In addition to resources like textbooks and worksheets, technology equips educators with various tools to help students develop a better understanding of the material.What are the pros and cons in using digital teaching? ›
- Accessing the classes from a wide range of places. ...
- Recorded lectures aid understanding. ...
- Can be easily personalized. ...
- Environmentally friendly. ...
- Creativity. ...
- Technology problems. ...
- Lack of social contact. ...
- Time management skills and self-motivation are needed.
Teachers are hesitant to adopt technology in the classroom because they doubt its effectiveness. They worry that using technology will not actually improve student learning and may even be a waste of time. Additionally, teachers believe that computers can never completely replace human interaction in the classroom.What are the challenges of teachers teaching in technology? ›
In another study conducted by Burns & Burns (2010) found out that the key challenges facing educators in the digital technol- ogy policy implementation are lack of time, erratic supply of power, lack of technical expertise, insufficient resources, negative attitude by old teachers, school principals and parents, theft, ...Why do teachers struggle with technology? ›
Many educators who have the proper training are reluctant to use technology in the classroom because their syllabus doesn't incorporate the EdTech into the curriculum. Instead, they must find extra places to stick it, adding extra work on the students and adding extra time in where there is no time to spare.How does technology affect the role of teachers? ›
Technology enables teachers to improve their teaching methods and tailor learning for their students. Schools profit from technology by lowering the cost of physical teaching materials, increasing the efficiency of educational programs, and maximizing teacher time.What are the negative effects of technology in the classroom? ›
In fact, 68% of surveyed teachers admit that digital tools make students take shortcuts, instead of investing any effort in writing, 67 % report students have difficulty reading and comprehending complicated texts, and 46 % say digital tools make students write fast and carelessly.What are the 8 cons of online education? ›
- Limited Teacher to Student Feedback.
- Risk of Social Isolation.
- Cheating is more brutal to monitor.
- E-learning is inaccessible to digitally illiterate people.
- Issues with Accreditation and Quality Assurance.
- Requires self-motivation and efficient time management skills.
Digital learning and its supportive technology can help you as a teacher advance learning, mitigate learning loss, and create opportunities for social and emotional engagement. These benefits are possible when you and your students are in the classroom and when you are teaching students who are learning at home.What are the barriers to technology in the classroom? ›
Lack of technology skills and knowledge, specifically in pedagogy and classroom management. Institutional barriers, including leadership, class scheduling and school planning. Teachers' attitudes and beliefs about technology's benefits and relevance. Assessment pressures, including high-stakes testing.
- screen time.
- screen glare.
- screen brightness.
- viewing too close or too far away.
- poor sitting posture.
- underlying vision issues.
- Depression and Other Mental Health Issues. A University of Michigan study found that Facebook use led to a decrease in happiness and overall life satisfaction. ...
- Lack of Sleep. ...
- ADHD. ...
- Obesity. ...
- Learning Barriers. ...
- Decreased Communication and Intimacy. ...
- Cyberbullying. ...
- Loss of Privacy.
- increased dependency on technology.
- often large costs involved with using the latest technology (especially for small businesses)
- increased risk of job cuts.
- closure of high street stores in favour of online business.
- security risk in relation to data and fraud.
Positive effects of Technology. Less expense, better efficiency, communication channels, increase in networks, etc. Negative effects of Technology. Social isolation, job loss, adverse health effects, scams, etc.What are the 2 biggest challenges facing teachers today? ›
66% – Not enough individual attention. 60% – One or more students in class experiencing food insecurity. 52% – Don't have access to the basic classroom materials they need to learn.What are the challenges of online teaching for teachers? ›
- Technical issues. ...
- Adopting new Technology. ...
- Lack of in-person communication. ...
- Distraction and lack of motivation. ...
- Unorganized and ineffective time management. ...
- Motivating students. ...
- Keeping track of the progress and assignments. ...
- Lack of Technical or Software Knowledge.
Developing slideshows and digital presentations, playing music or a video for background and context while presenting, or by inviting virtual guest speakers to engage with your class via programs designed for conference calls (such as: Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facetime) are all fun and creative ways to boost ...What are the 6 benefits of technology in the classroom? ›
- Provides A More Engaged Learning Environment. ...
- Prepares Students for the Future. ...
- Connects Better with Students. ...
- Boosts Collaboration. ...
- Supports Learning. ...
- Gamified Learning. ...
- Virtual Field Trips. ...
- Create Student Websites.
Technology gives students access to the best pedagogy and researched teaching strategies for each content. This will change the teacher's role and, in turn, will increase the learning potential for students. Teachers will become learning facilitators as technology evolves to teach more topics adequately.What is one negative effect technology has had on education? ›
What is one negative effect technology has had on education? Children use technology at a very early age. Most classes available online are very expensive. Only college courses are available on the Internet.
Enhances learning and facilities students
The most positive effect of technology on students is that it widely helps and enhances the learning process of students. Each and every detail of all the subjects are available online on various sites where students can go if they're stuck.
|Less Intensity||Excess exposure to screen time|
|The comfort of your Home||Requires self-discipline and time management skills Diminished social interaction|
|Easier Attendance||Lack of trust between teacher and students|
Recent research suggests that excess use of the internet over prolonged periods of time may negatively affect some cognitive functions, particularly attention and short-term memory.What are the disadvantages of technology in students? ›
1) it may be distracting to students, 2) it may disconnect students from face-to-face relationships, 3) it may make cheating easier, 4) it may disadvantage certain students, 5) it may cause students to use unreliable resources for learning, 6) it may make curriculum planning more difficult or expensive, 7) it may ...What are the main problems with technology in classrooms? ›
Common challenges and concerns teachers experience when integrating technology and digital media in the classroom include: Students misusing technology. Teacher knowledge and professional development. Keeping students safe online.What are the problems with technology in the classroom? ›
While this may seem like the future of learning, integrating technology in classrooms has its downfalls. Having almost unlimited access to the Internet, quick messaging, and games distracts students from learning. Also, continuous use of technology hurts eyesight and disrupts the human body's natural rhythms.What is one major barrier to a teacher's use of technology in schools? ›
Lack of technology skills and knowledge, specifically in pedagogy and classroom management. Institutional barriers, including leadership, class scheduling and school planning. Teachers' attitudes and beliefs about technology's benefits and relevance. Assessment pressures, including high-stakes testing.What are the impacts of technology on teachers? ›
Technology enables teachers to improve their teaching methods and tailor learning for their students. Schools profit from technology by lowering the cost of physical teaching materials, increasing the efficiency of educational programs, and maximizing teacher time.