Engaging students with Technology

Engaging students with Technology

A common belief among teachers is that the persistent use of technology hinders or retards their ability to persist with life challenging tasks and their attention spans. Dr. Dimitri Christakis is of the view that the heavy utilization of technology by students makes reality completely uninteresting by comparison.


That view is purely subjective. There is another view that appealing to the students’ love of technology, many benefits can be had. A few reasons to advocate the advent of technology integration in school are: 


• Support thinking processes

• Stimulate self-esteem and motivation

• Promote equity

• Prepare students for the future

• Support changes in school structure

• Explore technology capabilities

• Stimulate self-esteem and motivation

• Promote equity

• Prepare students for the future

• Support changes in school structure

• Explore technology capabilities


Technology supports the thinking processes by creating opportunities where such skills may be acquired for example through the use of instructional software that is specifically designed for such a task or the acquisition of this knowledge when problem-solving or troubleshooting when utilizing the computer tools and they do not respond as expected or within defined parameters. Another way it supports the thinking process is by allowing new ways for complex concepts to be explained or delivered to students for example by diagrammatically or illustratively representing theoretical concepts to students such as acceleration or gravity.


Stimulating self-esteem and motivating students is another frequently cited reason for technology integration in schools. Many studies done in schools have shown that there is a marked impact on the students’ interest in activities in the classroom and an improvement in their confidence in their own abilities.


The world today isn't completely level. The differing socio-economic classifications of life preclude certain things from certain classes. The upper class and most of the middle class will always have access to the latest technology and innovations while the rest of middle and the lower class won’t. With the introduction of technology in schools, the disparity between students all but disappears.


The future of the world is technological innovation. Regardless of the line of work chosen, it is a guarantee that technology is there. Whether it is a major or minor player, it is there and the exposure of students to this at an earlier period when their minds are quicker to pick up new skills can only be a positive. Educators contend that as a part of secondary socialization, schools should be required to provide students with the skills and confidence to utilize technology especially ones from low-income homes.


Changing the structure of schools is another great reason to have this integration. A number of universities and even some high schools have started using a Learning Management System or LMS that allows for a virtual classroom environment. A reduction in the hours that a teacher is required to actually be physically in the same space as the students is a plus and with this system, students have the entire course material at their disposal and so each can learn at their own pace. As a result there no longer needs to e any scheduling of “Class Time”.


Finally, we look at the exploration of new technologies. As new innovations are created the older models are junked or discarded. Many schools are beneficiaries of new and second-hand technologies which are still years ahead of what the student body could afford on their own. With grants often given to schools to acquire new technology, charities or private companies donating to these schools, the students are presented with a prime opportunity to see the developments of the future the moment in “today” that they happen.


Concluding, technology in schools can be good and bad depending on the persons who use it and how they use it. There is no hard and fast way to determine that technology in schools is a benefit or detriment.

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