I have chosen to write the remainder of my weekly blogs concentrating on the subject of the effects that modern technology has on education. I have based this decision on the notion that many researchers have and continue to conduct studies into this field and it is therefore constantly evolving. There is currently a vast amount of evidence supporting the use of modern technology whilst there is an equal amount of evidence in order to suggest that traditional methods are more beneficial. During the remainder of the semester I will discuss the argument for and against the use of modern technology before drawing to my own conclusion at the end of the term.
Previously I have stated that I sit on the fence when it comes to this argument! Whilst i think that traditional styles of teaching such as learning to read a book and write a formal letter are important and essential to our lives regardless of all the technology we have at our finger tips, I also realise that learning to write an e-mail and use a computer are also absolutely essential.
Researchers (Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 2000; Roschelle, Pea, Hoadley, Gordin & Means, 2000) proposed that a number of features of new technologies hold promise for improving education by suggesting that new information and communication technologies (ICT) can provide an exciting teaching method based on real-life problems inside the classroom and provide tools in order to enhance children’s’ learning. They argued that modern ICT enables students to receive feedback on their performance, test and reflect on their ideas and revise their understanding. Brill & Galloway (2007) also found that the use of technology in the classroom had a positive influence on both teaching and learning.
However a research conducted by Wenglinski (1998) found a negative relationship between the frequent use of school computers and school achievement that the children achieved. However it must be noted that they did find that certain uses of technology did have a positive effect on achievement. For example, they found that the use of computer games developed a positive rise in math achievement in fourth grade students.
Shad (2001) argued that there are much higher cognitive benefits associated with handwriting in comparison to typing. Bounds (2010) suggested that this is due to actively learning the letters, the letter shapes, idea composition, expression of that idea and developing fine motor skills. Beringer (2009) found that children with and without handwriting disability were able to write significantly more in a shorter amount of time when using a pen rather than typing on a keyboard thus demonstrating that handwriting should not be scrapped in favour of typing at schools.
Due to the rise in computer use and typing at schools triggering a slight degeneration of traditional teaching and learning methods such as reading and writing Leising (2003) claimed that primary school teachers worry that children are recently having difficulties in writing simple words such as ‘thank you’ therefore this motivates me to further investigate this particular subject. As I have stated previously, there are many reasons for and against the use of technology in the classroom however I am curious to find out which method provides children and students with the most academic profit.
Beringer, V. (2009, October 20) For kids, pen’s mightier than keyboard. futurity.org. Retrieved February 25th 2013 from http://www.futurity.org/society-culture/for-kids-pens-mightier-than-keyboard/#more-4909.
Bounds, G. ( 2010, October 5) How handwriting trains the brain – forming letters is key to learning, memory, idea. wsj.com. Retrieved February 25th 2013 from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704631504575531932754922518.html
Bransford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academic Press.
Brill, J. M., & Galloway, C. (2007). Perils and promises: University instructors’ integration of technology in classroom-based practices. British Journal of Educational Technology. 38(1), 95-105.
Leising, J. (2013 January 30) The new script for teaching handwriting is no script at all. wsj.com Retrieved February 25th 2013 from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323644904578272151551627948.html?KEYWORDS=handwriting
Roschelle, J., Pea, R., Hoadley, C., Gordin, D., & Means, B. (2000). Future of children, 10(2), 76-101.
Shah (2011, July 16) Why does writing make us smart ? huffingpost.com. Retrieved February 25th 2013 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/16/why-does-writing-make-us-_n_900638.html
Wenglinski, H. (1998). Does it compute? The relationship between educational technology and student achievement in mathematics. Princeton, NJ: ETS.