Computers, Cell Phones, and Cameras: Helpful or Hurtful?

         In recent discussions of technology use in the classroom, a controversial issues has been whether technology is a distraction or a tool in the classroom. The kind of technology I talking about is the electric technology. The technology that includes things such as: cell phones, computers, webcams, iPods, and cameras. On one hand, some argue that technology is just a quick way for students to zone out and look on social media sites.  From this perspective, technology is more of a Hassle in the classroom than helpful.  On the other hand, however, others argue that the world is changing and so should teaching styles, which includes technology.  According to this view, technology isn’t a distraction in classrooms, but rather a tool to help both students and teachers get the most out of school.  In sum then, the issues is whether to use technology in the classroom or ban it from being part of the class.

My own view is that technology is one of the best tools teachers can use to help students learn in a way they understand.  Though I concede that technology can be distracting I still maintain that it can be harnessed for the better of the classroom.  For example, when a student is caught spending time on social media instead of doing the instructed work I would take the device away from them and make them do the assignment the old fashion way, such as looking up a word in a dictionary or doing research solely in encyclopedias.  Although some might object that this was an unnecessary step and I should have just made the students do the work the old fashion way. I would reply that technology has a great capacity for knowing much more than any books or person and is very easy to learn.  The issue is important because the world is changing and education should be following the tech savvy world of electronics.

Here are a few more links to help further your understanding of technology in the classroom:

Why use technology in the classroom?

The New Basics: Classroom Technology 

Technology in the Classroom

Cell Phones in the Classroom

Using cell phones in a classroom setting might make you squirm a little in your chair. Adults think of children and cell phones and automatically assume the child must be cheating on a test, this may be the case for some situations but for the most part, children can be using cell phones for a good cause. A great blog talking about why cell phones can be and should be used in the classroom is 5 reason to allow students to use their cell phones in the classroom. This blog goes into details about why technology isn’t always a bad thing in the classroom. We as educators should be striving to give our students the best possible learning experience, which could mean using cell phones.

In another blog talking about cell phones in the classroom, How teachers make cell phones work in the classroom,  it talks more about the idea of using cell phones in classroom. The great part about this blog is that it goes into detail about ways to implement cell phones. Not only does it show the positive outcomes cell phones have had in classrooms, but it also shows some outputs that weren’t so positive. Reading the negative outcomes of cell phones versus that positive ones can help a teacher figure out if using a cell phone is the right thing for them.

Is blogging right for elementary students?

Some parents may be worried of their young child becoming an active participate with technology. With the growing technology industry it has been made easier and more efficient in some cases to use technology in the class room. One of the many examples is teachers using blogs to help with learning, a great read for any teacher or parent concerning blogging with elementary students is Langwitches

Now it isn’t the best idea to give an 8 year old a computer and tell them good luck, there are some precautionary steps that you as a teacher must take to be sure the students understand what technology can do. Internet safety is something that a teacher needs to be very specific about. Children don’t always know the consequences that can be caused by something they do. There are many videos about the internet and steps to be safe on it. Showing a couple videos in class and have a little quiz or game could show you if your students are ready to take one the internet world.

One of the first step in helping ease children into blogging is to have your own blog and let the students post questions or thoughts on your post. The next step would be to have children start posting on your blog some of their own ideas to get the ball rolling for other students. Finally when the time is right have the children create their own blog. A more detailed read about steps that should be taken to start blogging is, Education World.