Where we are (the current situation)
As technology becomes more advanced then ever, it’s no surprise it’s is being brought into the classroom at younger and younger ages every year. Where typing used to be the most technology advanced class not too long ago (and often only taught in high school), now Kindergarteners are taking on things like Google Drive, Photoshop, and Coding. Many preschoolers are more advanced with technology then any of our parents or grandparents could ever imagine being. As students enter the education system, they are handed a tablet, we are preparing an entire generation of technology geniuses.
It all begins here
Schools all over the world are working to introduce tablets and other technology into classrooms. Many schools are just beginning to introduce things like tablets into their classrooms. However, it is a quickly spreading trend. We are on the brink of talking about what this technology exactly means, and how exactly we’ll use it. Studies have shown that tablet technology is already used for every day class in near 30% of classrooms and tablets are of access to around 70% for less frequent use.
Pros of this technology in education
The benefits of having technology like tablets in the classroom is nearly endless. The ability to carry around a tablet where your text books are kept instead of heavy physical textbooks is the first of many game changers. Tablets can be an incredible medium for many educational materials. Paper, planners, cameras, crafts, coding, textbooks, all in one convenient location. Additionally, many studies have shown increased literacy and improved learning in children as young as 4 or 5. There is the ability to work with greater communities, increases in creativity, better communication, increased avenues of support, etc. The possibilities are endless when every child in a classroom has access to a tablet. Besides the obvious point of increased access that comes with tablets, tablets also introduce a more personalized education experience one teacher isn’t always able to deliver to a classroom of 30 students. Tablets allow students to learn at their own pace, overall increasing a students success tremendously. When half of the class is ready to move on and a teacher does, the other half falls behind because of a lack of full understanding. Likewise, students that are waiting for the rest of the class to catch on are not living up to their full maximum potential. Not to mention the ability to personalize with the tablet, connect with students, and obviously they are fun and exciting. The most powerful potential comes from making learning fun.
Cons of this technology in education
While there are many pros about including technology like tablets in schools, it’s important to consider the cons or risks. There are many people that completely disagree with technology in the classroom for many reasons, one of which being the obvious obstacle of focus. It can be hard enough to get the attention of a 7 year old, and becomes much more difficult when there is a screen with endless possibilities in front of them. As social media is introduced, endless websites, and not to mention apps, focus can be near impossible for many students. Security issues are also a huge consideration when it comes to introducing more technology to students. One concern considers the security and safety of having a camera on tablets of children, many parents fear those cameras can get hacked, or invade privacy. Also to be considered is that students aren’t always fully equipped with the savvy required when dealing with technology and the world wide web. The lack of development includes the ability to not talk to strangers online, not give out passwords, or personal information, etc. Lastly a huge consideration is budget. Many schools simply do not have the budget to provide technology like this for their students. This risk contributes to the gap between communities with different incomes. Students in wealthier communities are given another leg up in their future when given access to technology like this while low-income communities suffer. All of these cons are quickly being addressed and dealt with, but are crucial to keep in mind.
What we can expect in the future
Technology and tablets in education are certainly a trend that is showing no sign of slowing. It’s safe to predict that in the near future every child will have access to things like tablets just like they have access to computers now. While it might not be in your community yet, you might consider getting a tablet for your child now to get them a leg up and on par with all of the communities that have already introduced them. We can expect this generation to be app developers, website creators, and technology geniuses without question.
Article written by: Elizabeth Reynolds, Reviews.com