Should We Use Modern Technology in Schools?
Modern technology has evolved over the years to not only become useful and perhaps entertaining outside of education, but it has also developed enough to assist learning. However, both pupils and teachers must use the technology available wisely – otherwise they may become dependent upon it; their attitude and behaviour will change.
A high percentage of students take mobile phones into school, despite their ban in the majority of schools. Many of these pupils claim that they need to have them in case of an emergency, although a great number decide to mess around with them, and as a result get distracted from their own learning.
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It is scientifically proven that mobile phones can be dangerous, too. Beams of infrared can be responsible for causing some cancers, and the small LCD display could damage your eyesight if used regularly and for long periods of time. Adding to this, when talking to someone on your mobile phone, you are much less aware of the events taking place around you. For example, when crossing a road, you may forget to look for cars – putting your life at risk.
A lot of the latest models come equipped with video cameras. There have been occasions where people have filmed bullying in school, and posted it on the Internet. In some of these cases, students have been expelled and filmed bullying appeared to have stopped.
Having an entire ban with firm penalties on mobile phones is the only way that pupils will decide not to take them in to the school premises.
Using MP3 players to listen to music whilst working can have different effects on different people. A lot of people claim that they work much better when listening to music – and in a lot of cases that is true. However, this prevents them from being able to hear what the teacher is saying, and they may be tempted to focus on what song they are listening to, instead of concentrating on doing their work.
Every school in the country nowadays have computers available for education. The vast majority of pupils love to learn using a computer, and some of the most well paid jobs are related to IT, so to an extent, this is a good thing. However, computers can be incredibly insecure, so therefore all schools must use them cautiously.
Your eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of your body, so you need to care for them. Too much time spent using a computer without regular breaks can damage your eyesight severely, which will lead to feeling drained more often.
Not only will your eyesight suffer, but also over time you may find it harder to write. Adding to this, if you use a spell check than you could become lazier and depend on it for accurate spelling.
A massive amount of the schools that have computers available also have access to the Internet. In spite of the fact that there are many different security and protection programmes, pupils are always able to access games, chat rooms, and even pornography. There are great dangers involved in these – all of which disrupt education.
Yes, computers can be dangerous, yet they offer a vast array of programmes that can make learning fun, interesting, and easy to do – not just in IT, but in all other subjects as well. These programmes or applications are always capable of getting someone involved and interested. Sometimes the games can tease them in to learning without them even knowing it!
With instant access to the Internet, finding information used for homework has never been easier. There are even websites out there that can do your homework for you, making pupils lazy. On the other hand, this information could prove to be inaccurate – making it better to look at a book if you want more reliable information. Some pupils even send their homework in via email!
Teachers also find that using a computer is a much easier way to work. You can type and edit documents, you can delete documents that you no longer need, and you can securely save what you want to keep. Other staff members also like to use a computer for many different ways. In bigger schools, some staff members send regular emails to each other – just because it is easier.
There are some schools where every pupil owns a laptop computer – and uses it for almost everything. Although computers can be very beneficial to a good education, these students may become dependent upon their computers.
Interactive whiteboards are making a considerable impact across the curriculum and are replacing the traditional whiteboards, flipcharts, and OHPs at a growing rate. This is because they have proven to be so successful in schools – pupils can absorb information more easily resulting in a 2.5 percent improvement in class results. Not only this – Interactive whiteboards encourage greater participation in class thanks to the fantastic interactive teaching programmes freely available to use in class. Furthermore, the pupils who have been away can access past lessons and catch up with what they missed.
Powered by a computer, they enhance presentations by integrating video, animation, graphics, text and audio options. One example from the many benefits of an interactive whiteboard is that originally if a pupil produced an excellent piece of work, 29 other children would have to crowd around his or her machine to be able to see the results, whereas with an interactive whiteboard everyone would be able to see it.
Pupils can present what they can do to the rest of the class, and can teach the teachers at the same time, due to many pupils who often have greater ICT skills than the teachers themselves!
Over the course of this essay I have shown you both the benefits and the downsides to using modern technology in school. I believe the teacher needs to combine knowledge of the subject, an understanding of how children learn, and a range of teaching strategies to take full advantage of the technology available. As always, safety is an issue and should be addressed with class rules on how to use it. That way, modern technology will improve overall results.