Technology in the Classroom: Whether or Not its Propelling Us Forward

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Technology in the Classroom: Whether or Not its Propelling Us Forward

Antoinette Aho, Editor-in-Chief

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Many believe that as technology advances, it should be brought into the classroom, and more so, teachers and students should keep up with this development. The use of laptops in schools has proliferated, in 2015 Project Tomorrow conducted a study that showed that 64% of students had immediate access to laptops (Chromebooks included) outside of their personal devices.

With this comes the growing use of classroom apps, supplied explicitly by Google, who provides thousands of their Chromebook carts to schools around the nation. Apps they offer include Google Classroom, where teachers can post assignments, to the collaborative Google Docs, Slides, etc.

The New York Times refers to this growth of technology for students as, “a profound shift in American education: the Googlification of the classroom.”

There’s no denying the fact that Cordova High School is one of the many campuses that has witnessed a change in the style of learning due to advancement in technology. These assets have pros and cons in the classroom, they may benefit one subject more than the other, and even be deemed as unnecessary for some.

The Free Laner reached out to different Cordova High teachers to learn their perspective on the growth of technology in their classrooms.

Faith Caplan directs the engineering academy at Cordova, she teaches multiple levels of classes that range in all grade levels. The majority of her engineering classes require technology and particularly access to computer programs such as Autodesk Inventor, Rivet, and Scratch. As an avid user throughout the year, Caplan and her students have experienced better learning through the ability to use these apps, whether they’re collaborating on projects or developing files for their 3D printer or laser cutter. Many units wouldn’t be possible without access to advanced technology, which makes it a necessity for their course.

But still, like everything, with these pros come cons. Caplan says that student engagement has lessened throughout the years, from being distracted by computer games or making eye contact with their screen rather than her at the wrong times. Many students lack the drive to complete handwritten or hand-drawn assignments. They’d rather type notes and create tables on Google Docs, instead of using a ruler on paper. So while having the privilege of learning how to create models and whatnot digitally, this may reduce their more physical skills.

Generally, the opportunities that technology sanctions in engineering courses are more significant than the negative aspects, which typically can be changed over time.

Joshua Creeger leads Student Government, as well as the Media Productions program. While his media class relies on computer programs such as Premiere Pro, Adobe Audition, and Photoshop, the downsides of the internet are still apparent. “Unlimited access to computers seems to be the worst thing for kids in here.” Similar to Caplan, his students are distracted with computer games, YouTube, and even work for other classes.

Through the setbacks, for the majority of teachers, it’s undeniable that the pros of technology in the classroom outweigh the cons.