Streepey 1 Lindsey Streepey Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric Milberger 12 February 2013 Technology in Schools Using technology in the

classroom has been a common debate for school districts across America. The fear of the problems with incorporating technology keeps many schools from installing technology into their curriculum. Technology is going to prove itself as an incredible tool in both teaching and learning. Technology gives students and teachers access to lessons from the world-wide community, many for free. Within the school setting, it is nearly impossible to keep up with all of the new technology used with and for students, but there's no denying that technology is changing the daily lives of students. Technology such as laptops, iPads, and cellphones should be utilized within the classroom in order to enhance learning through the increased use of outside sources and the accomplishment of more complex tasks and can be implemented in the curriculum as well. A new idea has been developed of letting students bring their own technology into the classroom. This idea is named “bring your own technology” or BYOT. The idea has many parents questioning whether this is a good idea. There can be many problems with allowing students to bring their technology such as the idea that many people fear “ that allowing students to bring their own digital devices would create too many distractions” (Robertson). Some parents also “fear [that] it would exacerbate the gaps between students who have access to technology and those who don’t” (Robertson). However, the problems

Streepey 2 found with BYOT can be resolved. If technology is implemented properly then “Teachers can keep control of their classes, determining when and how devices are used, because students who abuse the Internet lose their privilege” (Robertson). If students get distracted on their technology, then they will not be allowed to use it. Students will not want to get their privileges revoked so they will be motivated to stay on task. As for the issue of students possibly being singled out if they do not have technology can be fixed. If the schools lend students laptops then the students will not feel left out. Also schools that use the BYOT idea can also create a “no-tech zone in the cafeteria to restore lunch as a time for face-to-face interaction” so students are not only focused on their technology (Robertson). By implementing this, students are still interacting with one another outside of the technology used in the classroom. Many students use their technology during the school day whether or not they are allowed to. Some students text underneath their desk or look up answers to questions. This use of technology cannot be monitored but BYOT encourages students to “take [their own technology] out of their pockets and use [them] for instruction” (Stanley). Technology is inevitable in our society and students will continue to use it even if it against the rules. The BYOT program will help students learn how to uses their various technology devices to benefit them in their learning. The BYOT program was executed in Forsyth County School District and “the district has received positive feedback, along with interest in the program” (Stanley). The success of the BYOT program has initiated other districts interest in allowing students to bring their own technology devices to school. Technology in the classroom is not only limited to letting students use their technology devices. Technology can be used by the teachers in their curriculum to enhance

Streepey 3 the students’ learning and can aid them if they do not understand the material. Students' use of technology is replacing not only traditional learning but also traditional organization. Many teachers now link their class work and homework online for access 24/7. Some teachers attach links with supporting materials such as power points and videos. Many teachers post their own subject-area videos on YouTube. Students who need additional support because of extended absences, learning differences, or language barriers benefit when lessons or videos are posted online for viewing and reviewing. Work can be done, stored, and turned in electronically. Finding assignments and materials is more streamlined when organized with a PDF reader, the apple cloud and email. These three ways to organize assignments helps students find them more easily because all the assignments and documents that are used in class are in one place and can be accessed effortlessly. Technology can be used in the classroom to create or enhance a lesson. For example, geometry in lower grades is more fun to teach on an interactive white board because the figures are in color, and can be flipped and turned, or rotated and dilated quickly. Drawing and manipulating figures in color is a natural replacement for a black and white piece of paper that can enhance the student’s understanding of the material. Technology can provide a teacher with quick, informal feedback. There are many ways students can text or reply to questions to assess whole-class and individual understanding. Technology can also help assess a starting point for a lesson but can't replace thoughtful lesson design. Teachers who know their students and their interests plan lessons that bring the subject to life and help create the meaningful connections that help retention. Technology also lacks the interactive experience of the classroom, of students asking and listening to others' questions and

Streepey 4 inquiries. The best thing about technology is the support it gives to struggling learners. Every flu season, regular-education students miss days of class, which might be an entire unit in math. Flu season hits in the middle of the academic year when the material is usually new and more difficult. It is difficult for a teacher to keep up with all of the absent work, much less work with each student to mastery. Having short daily videos to support learners is a tremendous help. Many students who have electronic access to class notes, homework and videos will come back to school after an absence completely caught up and feeling confident. In addition to supporting absent students, electronic lessons are invaluable to learners who struggle because of special needs, language barriers, or lack of background knowledge. Dedicated but struggling learners can read or watch the lesson as many times as needed in their own home if notes or videos are posted online. The resources that can be available to students outside the classroom will help them grasp the difficult material more easily. If technology is implemented in not only the curriculum but also by letting students bring their own then it will benefit the students. It will speed up the students’ learning process and increase the amount of outside sources used in the classroom. Problems with the BYOT idea can be control and restricted so that those problems do not occur within the classroom.

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