The effectiveness of technology use in the classroom has become a controversial issue. While many teachers and students feel that it’s best to use technology because it enhances teaching, many others feel that it causes too many challenges and wastes time. If technology is as effective in the classroom as many teachers believe it to be, why do some students dislike it so much?
To objectively respond to this question, 3 articles were examined. 2 out of the 3 relate how the use of technology in the classroom frustrates students. The last one translates students who feel that technology in the classroom has responded to their needs. So the issue is not that technology is not effective but rather that some teachers need to be mindful about technology use in the classroom, and others need to be trained to properly use technology to teach so that students do not view technology as obstructing learning as an enhancing tool.
After summarizing the 3 articles that have been reviewed, we will be able to prove that there are 2 groups of students who claim to dislike technology in the classroom: Those who are improperly exposed to it by their teacher and those who did not give themselves enough time to familiarize themselves with it. We will then be able to get to the logical conclusion that those same students would appreciate the value of technology in the classroom if their teachers used it properly. Let us first summarize the articles that we are referring to.
The article “When good technology means bad teaching related that many students feel that teachers and professor use technology as a way to show off. Students complain of technology making their teachers “less effective than they would be if they stuck to a lecture at the chalkboard” (Young) other problems related by students include teachers wasting class time to teach about a web tool or to flab with a projector or software.
When teachers are unfamiliar with technological tools, they are likely to waste more time trying to use them. The technological software that is used the most, according to students, is PowerPoint. Students complain that teachers use it instead of their lesson plans. Many students explain that it makes understanding more difficult “I call it PowerPoint abuse” (Young). Professionals also post their PowerPoint Presentations to the school board before and after class, which encourages students to miss more classes.
Another problem reported in the article with the use of technology in the classrooms is that many schools spend time training their staff to use a particular technology. Still, it does not train them on “strategies to use them well” (Young). The writer believed that schools should also give small monetary incentives to teachers and professors to attend workshops.
In an interview made with 13 students, “some gave their teacher a failing when it came to using PowerPoint, Course Management systems and other classroom technology” (Young ). Some of the complaints were again about the misuse of PowerPoint’s and the fact that instructors usethemt to recite what’s on the scale. Another complaint was that teachers who are unfamiliar with technology often waste class time as they spend more time troubleshooting than teaching. The last complaint mentioned is that some teachers require students to comment on online chat rooms weekly but do not monitor the outcome or never reference the discussion in class.
Similarly, the article “I’m not a computer person” (Lohnes 2013) speaks that students’ expectations as far as technology is concerned are very different. In a study done with 34 undergraduate university students, they advise that technology is an integral part of a university students life because they have to do must everything online from applying for college or university, searching and registering for classes, pay tuition and that in addition to being integrated into the administration, etc. technology is also widely used to teach and is valued by higher education.
Those students, however, feel that technology poses a barrier to success as they struggle to align with how the institution values technology.” A student explains that technology is used in her freshman year to turn in assignments, participate in discussion boards and blogs, emailing the professor, viewing grades, and for a wide range of other administrative tasks, including tracking the next school bus. This particular student, Nichole, says that she does not own a laptop but shares a family computer. She has a younger brother who also uses the computer to complete his schoolwork, so she has to stay up late to complete assignments.
She states, “technology and me? We never had that connection” (Lohnes). Nichole dislikes that her college requests that she had more contact with technology than she is conformable with. Nonetheless, she explains that as she started doing those school online assignments so frequently, she came to realize that they were not that bad.
One of her issues, though, with technology is that she had come from Puerto Rico about a year before entering college and that she never had to use the computer so much there. The articles relate that other college students like Nichole have admitted that they are “reluctant technology users” (Lohnes). The article wants to explain, in essence, that although most people would expect that college students prefer technology and are already familiar with it,” that assumption is faulty” (Lohnes).