Innovation in education technology is a complex issue. On one hand, it has helped teachers and students learn more and expand their cultural awareness. On the other, it could be isolating students and encouraging the further deterioration of interpersonal communication.
Technology is a part of life and for many employment opportunities a necessity. Using technology in the classrooms helps prepare students for job placement in the future. It can help them engage with other cultures and give them access to instructors and curriculum they would not be have otherwise.
Another benefit of using technology in schools is the ability to have real-time updates. Teachers can instantly see what is working and what isn’t, and to track each student’s progress more accurately. This allows the instructors to provide more individualized focus. It also eliminates the need to carry heavy textbooks, and encourages children who may not want to speak out loud to be engaged and participate.
Technology has been in schools for several decades. In the 1980s there were overhead projectors, computer labs, and educational video games. However, the difference today is that when students leave school they won’t be leaving the technology, they will be going home to even more of it. Some argue that the screen time children are subjected to at home is already too high, and adding this at school will push it over the limit.
Another potential downside is that the children who have lower economic means will feel more isolated and will have significant disadvantages. For example, if an assignment requires an essay typed in a word processing program and a child does not have a computer at home, they will have difficulty knowing how to accomplish the assignment, and with no computer at home, will have a challenge to complete the assignment.
Lastly, some have said that the ugly side of technology in the classroom is the depreciation of interpersonal skills. If assignments are submitted electronically, there is no need to have speech or presentation skills. If interactions are conducted via email, there is no need to develop communication skills. Although studies are being conducted to see what impact innovation in education technology has had on students, it is still to soon to tell. With so many benefits outweighing the negatives, it can be said that with careful considerations and restraints, technology in the classroom can be a valuable addition.