Modern classroom technology has completely changed the way we educate our children. Classes have become more interesting for the students and that has actually created an increase in attendance rates. The curriculum now contains up to the minute information for every subject by way of the internet.
The once boring lectures now hold the students’ attention because of visual demonstrations. Immediate access to the necessary information makes learning much more interesting and less time consuming. Some school districts have seen an increase in student grades and performance after incorporating modern technology into their classrooms.
Unfortunately, few school districts have the funds to provide new technology for all of their classrooms. Other districts still only use textbooks, paper and a chalkboard as learning devices. There is a definite need to bring those areas into the twenty-first century. The students are being deprived of the education and skills that they will need to become productive members of our society.
- Teacher-based Technology
The most basic tools that teachers can use are software computer programs. This enables the educator to put the students’ scores and grades into the program and the computer stores them and calculates the final grades. This drastically cuts down on time spent grading and allows for more time to be spent on interesting lesson plans.
Projection devices are now quite commonplace in every class throughout many districts. Years ago, schools had one or two projection implements that had to be shared between all of the classes.
Interactive whiteboards are slowly popping up in classrooms. They are a bit on the costly side however, their use as an education tool is priceless. A laptop gets connected to a projector and the image appears onto the board. This allows the teacher to plan a web-based lessons that all of the children can see at the same time. This makes lessons more fun than just reading from a textbook.
- Student-based Technology
Many teachers feel that the most important piece of technology that is needed for students’ use is laptop computers. Unfortunately a lot of school districts just don’t have the funds to be able to provide all of the students with computers. Public school systems cannot force parents to supply their children with them as the schools are free.
Some schools provide their students with personal digital assistant devices. These PDAs are linked to the teacher’s computer. The teacher can directly list homework assignments, project reminders and test dates for all of her students on the PDA. This eliminates the problem of any child saying they were unaware of an assignment.
- School-based Technology
The most important technology to be used school-wide is for them to have a website. This allows both students and parents to be aware of school functions, projects and other important information. Parents can also gain access to their children’s grades and homework by registering and setting up a password. This makes it easier for parents to check on their child’s academic progress and take the necessary steps to ensure their scholastic success.
The use of e-mail for all school employees is a great thing. By using e-mail, interruptions to the class are minimized. Parents will also have the opportunity to contact teachers via e-mail for updates on their child.
There are so many different aspects of modern classroom technology that are beneficial for the students. Naturally, some are more expensive than others. The important question is whether or not the children are worth that expense?
School districts need to find ways to manage their budgets. This must be done by reducing excess spending and put the available money to the best use possible. The most useful expenditures are those that directly prepare the children for successful futures.