Technology has become increasingly common in the classroom, to the point where some teachers and students cannot imagine education without it. However, the question of whether the pros of digital device use outweigh the cons has risen to the surface.
According to proponents of digital devices the classroom, technology is a tool that can help prepare students for modern technology that they will need to use in the workforce.
Linda Darling-Hammond, CEO and president of the Learning Policy Institute, addresses this in her contributing article in the Wall Street Journal, indicating that technology is not a substitute for teachers. Rather, she notes, it helps students as it provides simulation opportunities, allows them to conduct research easily, makes the connection with teachers on their homework easier, and enables them to work on real-world problems to make a difference in their communities.
Additionally, technology-use in school allows for a way to bridge the barrier for students from low-income families, she argues, because it allows them to access technologies and learn new skills they otherwise would not be able to.
However, those who see technology and digital devices in classroom as a problem note that technology use can broaden the achievement gap, particularly in younger students, because increased exposure to technology causes students to get distracted more easily, which results in lower grades.
Natalie Wexler, an education journalist and author, argues that digital devices don’t offer the same motivation as a teacher, and independent work with technology causes students to comprehend less, typically hitting students from low-income families hardest.
Wexler suggests the problem stems from lack of focused software to keep students on track, leading to a less meaningful educational experience.
These two ways of approaching digital devices in education leave a call to action for educators to balance both sides and work toward a solution.
Read further about the debates surrounding digital devices in the classroom: Do the Benefits of Digital Devices in School Classrooms Outweigh the Downsides?
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