Technology has often been blamed as the primary resource that has reduced students’ writing skills as insubstantial, thoughtless, and generally poor. Utilities such as chat, autocorrect, and email are blamed as being the primary engine that have declined the eloquence of the English language because they foster the use of short, ultra-direct speech that encourages carelessness in grammar, spelling, and thoughtfulness in ideas. Words in text messages, for instance, are often extremely condensed in their spelling, a habit which may easily slip over to class and homework assignments because students are constantly texting, emailing, etc., throughout the day, especially because of the proliferation of smartphones. Although such arguments undoubtedly hold great weight, technology is an ever burgeoning reality that is rapidly becoming more and more ubiquitous in our lives. It is force that will seemingly only continue to exponentially grow with the passing of time, not at all shrink. But, just as it has the power to harm, it has the power to do unprecedented good. Technology can be a means, as has been proven in studies, that betters students’ academic success and efficiency in the classroom with proper and monitored use of technological devices, such as the iPad, laptops, blogging, and email. The versatility of technology allows it to be able to be integrated into nearly all aspects of the academic curriculum in a positive way by being able to develop and increase skills and resources (such as being able to connect with teachers via email for example); thus, instead of technology being an educational enemy, it can serve as an extraordinarily helpful tool. It just needs to be used properly.
We already know that the use of blogging has the ability to improve students’ academic performances, as explained in the post Paul put up earlier in the semester in which a teacher made her students blog for her English class and their enthusiasm for learning increased. But other resources, like email and even iPads can help out greatly as well.
In fact, read here how iPads generate better readers and writers:
We also have the example of the Kahn academy, which, as Wikipedia describes, ”is a non-profit educational organization, created in 2006 by American educator Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School. With the stated mission of “providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere,” the website supplies a free online collection of more than 3,100 micro lectures via video tutorials stored on YouTube teaching mathematics, history, healthcare and medicine, finance, physics, chemistry,biology, astronomy, economics, cosmology, organic chemistry, American civics, art history, microeconomics and computer science.” The Kahn academy is an extraordinary example of how technology can be used to reach out to students across the globe, provide them with short, but greatly effective online tutorial of various subjects that are of world class level, and have all viewers not just learning, but thoroughly engaged. Could this possibly ever have happened in a regular classroom? Simply put, it’s highly unlikely.
Technology also allows students to express, learn, and share in different —but still important—ways. Making videos for example, teaches discipline in coherency, attention to detail, imagery, and effective communication.
Overall, there are so many ways to even list in how technology can offer quite a helpful hand in students learning, it’s just that we need to remain wise in how to incorporate it academically into our lives by testing the ways it can be used effectively and remaining focused on the goal of learning – not wasting our times and brains.