The Advantages and Disadvantages of Tech use in the Classroom

Accredited online professional development for teachers

By Michael Hilkemeijer

 

There are many reasons why you should use technology in the classroom.

My personal reason is that technology to use in the classroom should:

  1. Support subject learning
  2. Technology can be used as a tool for learning other than a media for fun and;
  3. Enable you to develop student ICT capability and ICT literacy alongside subject learning.

Below I have outlined what I consider to be the advantages and disadvantages of technology in the classroom. In general, school technology should always be used by students as a tool for learning and a means to an end by teachers. It should never be used just because it is there. Additionally, simple exposure to technology in the classroom and the haphazard teaching of ICT skills will not sufficiently develop a child's ICT capability either when it is integrated in the curriculum or as a subject itself.

Here is the technology in the classroom pros and cons:

 

Advantages

E-learning or Online Learning

The presence of ICT in education allows for new ways of learning for students and teachers.

 

ICT brings inclusion

Students with special needs are no longer at a disadvantage as they have access to essential material and special ICT tools can be used by students to make use of ICT for their own educational needs.

 

ICT promotes higher-order thinking skills

One of the key skills for the 21st century which includes evaluating, planning, monitoring, and reflecting to name a few.

 

ICT enhances subject learning

It is well known these days that the use of ICT in education adds a lot of value to key learning areas like literacy and numeracy. 

 

ICT use develops ICT literacy and ICT Capability

Both are 21st-century skills that are best developed whilst ICT remains transparent in the background of subject learning.

 

ICT use encourages collaboration

ICT naturally brings children together where they can talk and discuss what they are doing for their work and this in turn, opens up avenues for communication thus leading to language development.

 

ICT use motivates learning

Society's demands for new technology has not left out children and their needs. Children are fascinated with technology and it encourages and motivates them to learn in the classroom. 

 

ICT in education improves engagement and knowledge retention

When ICT is integrated into lessons, students become more engaged in their work. This is because technology provides different opportunities to make it more fun and enjoyable in terms of teaching the same things in different ways

 

ICT use allows for effective Differentiation Instruction with technology

We all learn differently at different rates and styles and technology provide opportunities for this to occur.

 

ICT integration is a key part of the national curriculum

The integration of digital technologies or ICT is a significant part of the Australian Curriculum for example, and this is a trend that many global governments are taking up as they begin to see the significance of ICT in education.

 

 

 

 

Disadvantages of the technology to use in the Classroom

 

Technology use in the classroom can be a distraction

True! Students may appear usefully occupied with the task when in fact they are working very inefficiently and failing to exploit the potential of ICT. They may divert from the intended task without it being too obvious. However, this is the reason why you should monitor technology to use in the classroom in addition to observing their learning progression in ICT.

 

Technology can detract students from social interactions

Oh no! This is not true. Some believe it is, however, you need to remember that technology in the classroom has a way of bringing students together. It has a natural ability to promote collaboration amongst students and also, there are many ways for students to socially interact with technology in the classroom like blogs. Do I need to go….?

 

Technology can foster cheating

This is perhaps true. Although, there are many ways or tools should I say for teachers to prevent this. Tools such as Turnitin etc. If this is referring to the Internet….then you should also think it no different than a student passing on a book to another student and pointing out the same lines.

 

Not all students have equal access

Out of all the cons, this may be more valid and hold more weight. If there is one thing that a pandemic teaches governments is that technology at times like this, increase the digital divide.

 

As you can see, the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in the classroom are balanced in favour of the many opportunities that technology brings to teaching and learning. Despite this, for some change is not what is considered important to them as they cling to the teaching methods in primary school classroom practices that work the best for them.

For these people, the disadvantages of technology in the classroom have more weight and influence than the advantages of technology in the classroom and this is despite the continuing evidence that shows that if change does not occur in the classroom, those who favour the disadvantages the most will be left behind.

The pros and cons of technology in the classroom remain a deciding factor for many teachers in an online and digital world.

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