Should primary school students use technology in the classroom?
Over the past 15 years there have been many advances in technology that have led to changes in the way that people teach and learn. These changes are permanent so there is no going back to a time before this technology. Teachers and students must find ways to use this new technology because it will have an impact on their lives. At the same time some people are more comfortable with technology than others (Jefferies & Cubric, 2013). This creates questions about when technology should be introduced to students to support their learning. Primary school is a time when children are young and learning quickly. Introducing technology at this age will help students to become easier with the technology they are going to be using for the rest of their lives although it could be argued that it is too soon for students to use computers and they should focus on learning the basics. However the benefits of computers are greater than the disadvantages. Therefore, students in primary schools should use technology in the classroom for three main reasons: to support learning, enhance children’s academic, social, and emotional development, and to provides greater access to information for both the student and teacher.
Technology can be used to support learning in the classroom
Technology can be used to support learning in the classroom. By using technology, learners improve their performance on tests and grades. Studies have shown that using technology in the classroom increases students learning performance in science subjects. This may be because technology can help to improve student self-esteem while learning. This increases the goals that they set for themselves. Additionally, technology may help science teachers explain things using images and video that are normally very hard for students to imagine. This makes it easier for the students to understand what is going on (Ziden, Ismail, Spian, & Kumutha, 2011). In addition to test score improvement, technology can help learners to develop communication skills .Although research in this area has been limited, some studies have shown that using technology can be very useful for children who struggle with writing skills. After using technology that uses a lot of visual tools, students show large improvements in their writing structure, fluency quality and content. They also showed greater motivation for carrying out the writing tasks. It is not the technology that teaches the students to write better. Instead students already have the ideas and concepts in their minds. The technology helps to bring it out of them which causes great improvements (Vincent, 2001). These benefits come because technology can help learners acquire knowledge. Students like that technology like interactive white boards (IWB) allows them to us all of their senses. This is better a holding the student’s attention and increases the motivation they have to do will in their lessons Technology helps to get students excited about their learning (Hall & Higgins, 2005). This helps them to improve in all subjects.
Technology can also be used to enhance children’s academic, social, emotional development
Technology can also be used to enhance children’s academic, social, emotional development. In the classroom students have to learn how to have social interactions with teachers as other students as part of social developed. Technology can help leaners develop and enhance interactions with teachers and also with other students. Burnett (2004) shows that using technology such as tablet computers in the classroom helps students to build their own worlds. These worlds are made by the students and they can keep them to themselves or they can share them with others. They use technology to make barriers between each other. When they are sharing they can take turns to use the machines or they can bring their friends into their world with them. This helps them learn how to adjust their behavior around other people and have more self-control (Burnett, 2014). In additional social learning learners gain academic development through critical thinking, research, and reasoning when technology is used in the classroom. The use of technology in the classroom is evolving as teachers are using them not to not only do the same activities that they used to do but also to make it easier for students to do cognitive work. Technology makes it easier to do routine things like calculations so students and teachers can focus on more important cognitive tasks (Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009). Finally technology can help learners gain emotional development and become more independent. Young people today have always been used to technology. This gives them a unique way of looking at the world. They want to be more independent in their leaning with their own autonomy. Young people’s needs for independence and autonomy affects the way they approach education. They prefer to make technology choices that meet these needs. If students needs are not meant then they tend to get very bored quickly (Barnes, Marateo, & Ferris, 2007).
One of the main benefits that technology provides is greater access to information.
Both teachers and students can use the internet for research in the classroom. The internet is a very useful classroom resources for when students are creating projects in the classroom. It has many different kinds of information available including pictures and videos. However students don’t actually use them. This is because many class projects ask students to collects plain facts. Students will only be interested in information that they can use for their projects this suggests that student assignments can be changes so that they include more multimedia (Large & Beheshti, 2000). Technology is especially good for classroom use because students and teachers can use the computer to research from many different sources. The internet which can be accessed by technology in the classroom has a lot of information for students. This information is easy and fast to access. There is so much information that it can actually be too much. This makes it harder for students because they have difficulty understanding everything they find. All the same, students like the size of the internet and like that it is always available to them (Kuiper, Volman, & Terwel, 2005). Finally, teachers can use the internet to do research h that helps them provide more useful information to students. Teachers can find quickly answers to problems raised by students. In fact For the most part, the most common use of internet and digital technology by teachers is to collect information about what they will be teaching students. They also use to find information like pictures and videos to add to their lessons. Overall teachers are using the internet much more than they have in the past. This type of information gathering can be helpful in providing answers to students (VanFossen & Waterson, 2008). Although VanFossen and Waterson (2008), looked at information from secondary school teachers it makes sense to assume that primary school teachers are using the internet and digital technologies in the same way. Even though information gathering is useful, teachers should think about trying new strategies.
In conclusion, the internet and digital technologies are an important tool that primary school teachers can use in their classrooms. Teachers can use it to support learning because it increases student’s motivation to do the work and helps them to understand the material better. It can enhance children’s academic, social, and emotional development because it teachers them about social skills such as waiting for their turn as well as how to control the space around them and to be independent. Finally, the internet can provide greater access to information for both the student and teacher because of the amount of information that is available and the ease of access to different kinds of media like pictures and videos. At the same time teachers could use the internet and digital technologies more and also take steps to design more activities for students that use different kind of media. Finally teachers should look for new ways to use internet in the classroom.
Barnes, K., Marateo, R. C., & Ferris, S. P. (2007). Teaching and Learning with the Net Generation. Innovate, 3(4), 1-8.
Burnett, C. (2014). Investigating pupils’ interactions around digital texts: a spatial perspective on the “classroom-ness” of digital literacy practices in schools, Educational. Educational Review, 66(2), 192-209.
Greenhow, C., Robelia, B., & Hughes, J. E. (2009). Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship in a Digital Age: Web 2.0 and Classroom Research: What Path Should We Take Now? Educational Researcher, 38(4), 246–259.
Hall, I., & Higgins, S. (2005). Primary school students’ perceptions of interactive whiteboards. Journal of Computer Assisted learning, 102–117.
Jefferies, A., & Cubric, M. (2013). Planning for Success in Introducing and Embedding Technology to Enhance Learning. Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning, 156-163.
Kuiper, E., Volman, M., & Terwel, J. (2005). The Web as an Information Resource in K-12 Education: Strategies for. Review of Educational Research, 75(3), 285-328.
Large, A., & Beheshti, J. (2000). The Web as a Classroom Resource: Reactions from the Users. Journal of the American Society for information science, 51(12), 1069–1080.
VanFossen, P. J., & Waterson, R. A. (2008). It is just easier to do what you did before…”: An Update on Internet Use in Secondary Social Studies Classrooms in Indiana. Theory & Research in Social Education,, 36(2), 124-152.
Vincent, J. (2001). The role of visually rich technology in facilitating children’s writing. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 17, 242-250.
Ziden, A. A., Ismail, I., Spian, R., & Kumutha, K. (2011). The Effects of ICT Use in Teaching and Learning on Students’ Achievement in Science Subject in a Primary School in Malaysia. Malaysia Journal of Distance Education, 13(2), 19-31.
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