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Using Technology for Student Learning Enhancement

Current educational standards focus on 21st century skills that offer students knowledge
and abilities relevant to success in today’s world. Preparing students for the world, means using
technology in the classroom to promote learning, literacy, and skills. Research continually
strives to find a linear relationship between technology and learning; however, learning is really
established by a multitude of factors. Research does not prove technology alone increases
academic performance; research shows technology is a tool to access, enable, and engage
learning.
ACCESS LEARNING
With the abundance of technology available and utilized today (curriculum software,
Internet, social media, and YouTube), there is a steady demand for additional technology in
education. In Kvavik & Caruso; and Salaway, Caruso, & Nelson’s research, students desire to
incorporate their learning experience with convenient access to content, communication, and
assessment tasks. This increase in mobile technology extends opportunities available to learners
with online libraries, video lectures, podcasts, and search engines (as cited in Mirriahi, 2015).
When the learning environment extends outside a traditional classroom or set time frame,
learning has increased potential. In addition, technology can offer access to learning for select
learners specifically English as a second language. Mobile technology in the hand of an ESL
student allows the student access to comprehensive input specific for their learning (Dialo,
2014). When student’s educational backgrounds vary, the ability to access specific instruction
for their learning needs is paramount.

ENABLE LEARNING
Swank studied how technology used by high school seniors and advanced upperclassman
is preparing them for college. Students are able to simplify complex topics utilizing resources
available through technology; most significant, how mobile resources enhance communication
between teacher/student and between student/peer (2012). As Bryan noted, collaboration
becomes an important learning process (2015). Enabling students the tools and experience
necessary to transition into a collegiate, rigorous setting.
ENGAGE
A Chowdry and Alwis study said virtual learning (learning including computers and the
internet) does not affect student academic performance if only used for the purpose of passing
course material. Instead, if virtual learning is used to provide opportunity to actively engage in
learning through online discussion or additional educational material, it allows for deeper
understanding and thus improves academics (2014). Likewise, mobile technology allows
students to focus on material. Motivation increases as students direct their own learning and
shift from passive to active learners (Karen-Kolb, 2013). If students are more engaged, they will
retain more information. Technology is powerful when used to deepen student engagement
(Costley, 2014).
Technology allows students to access, enable, and engage their learning. Accessing
education with a flexible environment and timeframe increases student potential. Enabling
learning with tools necessary to understand and clarify academic work. Engaging the learner by
motivating students as active participants in their studies and assisting them in retaining
information. These traits transform students into 21st century learners and enhance their
knowledge and skill. While empirical evidence does not show technology by itself effecting

student learning. The effects of technology are caused by the complex interaction of technology,
pedagogy, and content. Due to the complex nature, research is unable to share a definitive
formula for what works (Thompson, Schrum, & Bell, 2008). What Dynarski did find is
technology used sporadically as add-ons had uninspiring statistical results. Classrooms are
dynamic environments and the field of technology in education needs more studies in learning
environments where technology plays an integral part of the classroom (2007). Technology is a
growing medium in the enhancement of education. It is not be the sole resource to better educate
the future, rather an essential tool to assist in education.

References
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