Why We Shouldn't Be Afraid of Technology in the Classroom

girlonlaptop2As technology continues to evolve and internet users reach the 2 billion mark, it is not surprising that this new medium is making its way into the classroom.

In recent years, we have seen an increase in the use of technologies in the classroom such as iPods, video chats, and laptops, and this trend is only going to increase. While some may still balk at the opportunity to utilize these devices, the idea of adding technology to the classroom is an increasing sentiment in today’s schools.

But why should you embrace using educational technologies in the classroom? Well, simply put, today’s students are driven by technology now more than ever.

From e-mail to text messaging, Facebook to Twitter, today’s teens are connected to the global community 24/7. Students are now conditioned to the idea that instant gratification is the norm. Cell phones and other mobile devices are giving everyone, including our students, the ability to send and receive news and information instantaneously.

It is no secret that we are living in a technology-driven, web-2.0 society, so why are we surprised that many of our students aren’t engaging in curriculum designed in the 20th century?

By no means are we crying out for the death of the printed page. We're simply saying that we should embrace change, not ignore it. The printed book will continue to be an integral part of the education process, but if we can incorporate these new technologies into our lesson plans, we can begin to engage our students in ways we never thought possible.

Because of our hesitation to add technology into the classroom, students are forced to “power down” every day they go to school. Outside of the classroom, our students are using devices like iPods, cell phones, computers and gaming systems in their everyday lives. So it should come as no surprise that many students become disinterested or unengaged when we make them “disconnect” from technology when they enter the classroom.

In order to engage the students of today’s multi-media world, we must find a way to successfully incorporate new technology trends in our traditional educational setting. Of course, like anything else, there are dangers and risks that come with these new technologies. But ignoring these new technologies is not the answer. Since these tools and devices are such a big part of our every day communications, ignoring them all together would do more harm than good.

Besides, can you imagine what our education system would be like if we never incorporated the internet in our schools?

If we are worried about how students will use these tools, we as educators have a responsibility to teach our students how to use them effectively and responsibly. As we look for new ways to engage our students, these new technologies are continuing to evolve and gain popularity among teachers and students. We must realize that we don’t need to be afraid of this new technology, and instead see that, if used responsibly and effectively, these new technologies and devices can revolutionize the way we engage our students.

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