Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advantages of Technology in the Elementary Classroom

I recently came across a few excellent websites advocating for increased technology use in the elementary classroom. One, called Advantages of Technology in the Elementary Classroom, states a range of advantages: better engagement, higher motivation, more quality instructional material, communication and interaction, and application of real world skills. The article states that the "more students are motivated, the more likely they will be successful and engaged in their learnings." As the current push toward student engagement takes off, it seems logical that technology can be a great tool to assist teachers in this challenge. Also, technology gives educators the opportunity to expand their available instructional materials "beyond a teacher's wildest dreams." The wealth of great tools, research articles, applications, interactive activities, etc. available on the web can seem limitless, and most of it is free! I can't even imagine what a teacher 20, 30 years ago would think of the amount and availability of these. A third advantage to integrating technology is communication and collaboration. As this blog and individual school and classroom blogs show, the ability for students, teachers, administrators, parents, etc. to read, comment on, evaluate, and store schoolwork makes the learning process quick, easy, engaging, and cooperative. Lastly, the article states the technology help students become proficient in much-needed technology skills. The National Educational Technology Standards state the students must "live, learn, and work successfully in an increasingly complex and information-rich society, students must be able to use technology effectively." The workforce these students will enter will be much different than any we have seen yet. This rapidly-changing world presents a new set of skills that must be mastered to achieve success. It seems that more and more, schools, researchers, and all involved in the education process are starting to realize the importance and benefits of integrating technology into the classroom.

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