Modern technology in education.

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.  

References: 

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.

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6 thoughts on “Modern technology in education.

  1. Well I have just typed out a really long comment and it just deleted and I couldn’t get it back, so I shall do it AGAIN.

    I like the topic of technology because it’s an interest of mine, and I like the ideas which you have presented in the blog. I don’t thing there is a person on earth (that is sane) that can say technology has not helped the education system.

    There is so much evidence out there that shows this fact, a meta-analysis that reviewed over 500 studies that used technology to learn while being compared to students that got traditional teaching. Results showed that computer based instruction generated an average score of 64% compared to 50% with traditional teaching, which is quite a big difference (Kuliks, 1994).

    Other studies also show similar findings, a study that used over 11,000 participants found that between 13/15 weeks of learning with certain types of technology, there was a gab in test scores while being compared to traditional teaching (technology being significantly higher) (Wenglinsky, 1998).

    A similar study stated that children could learn in less time while being compared to traditional teaching but even higher increases in learning was present when the children enjoyed the computer programs that were used (West Virginias state wide initiative, 1999)
    Technology rules the roost so to speak, it just needs the stubbornness of traditional teaching to go away

  2. Good read, I’m in the camp that is all for the use of technology in classrooms in particulalry computers due to the evidence which highlights the effectiveness of computer based instruction when compared to traditional teaching methods (Kulik & Kulik, 2002; Miodusar; Tur-Kaspa & Leitner, 2000). However it’s no good just to put a student in front of a computer and expect them to learn more, the computer programme needs to be good.

    The Headsprout Reading programme is an example of a computer based programme that has been found to be effective in improving children’s reading (Layng et al, 2004). Headsprout not only harnasses the advantages of computer based instruction but also incorparates many theories that have been found to improve learning, however to prevent this comment becoming an essay I will just highlight how aspects of positive reinforcement like the use of a token economy are used. Children are rewarded for good performance with gold coins, which has been found to be effective in increasing desirable behaviours (Boniecki & Moore, 2003).

    So it is inevitable that technology is going to play a part in schools in the future as the benefits of computer based instruction can’t be ignored, the key is how we harnass this technology so that we can get the most from it.

  3. This is such a relevant topic to research – we are using modern technology in this module with the use of blogs! A few weeks ago, I perceived modern technology taking over our education system as a negative thing. But after much deliberation, I realised that technology is actually enhancing our learning.

    While we were at school, we went there to learn because that’s where we thought all information came from. This has now changed; we can now find out anything with a click of a button! If we consider younger children; they would much rather play games that will enhance their learning through an IPad than a traditional class game. It’s important that children enjoy learning right?
    Although there seems to be many advantages of having new technology in school, Kleiman, The Center for Online Professional Education (COPE), reported that technology that enhances learning is not being used in the right way in schools.

    • Teachers do not receive enough training with the specific technology to use it to itss full advantage.
    • Teachers are not confident with technology; if there is a problem and it doesn’t work, a long wait may be needed to fix it.
    • If there are no computers in the classroom, teachers must organise activities in other classes. Some may believe that this disrupts the flow of the class.

    I believe teachers need assistance to overcome these problems to ensure that every child has the same opportunity to develop their skills with the new technology. This will enhance their learning and help them in the future. After all, technology seems to be taking over!

  4. I am the same as you. I sit on the fence when discussing the use of technology in schools because I can see both the benefits and limitations. The use of technology has mixed reviews. You mention that technology usage has effects on a student’s ability to write and spell. I agree with this as statistics show that writing quality in teens has decreased with 64% reporting that they write more informally in school work and 25% of these have used emoticons in their work (Lenhart, Smith & MacGill, 2008). Edyburn (2007) reported that teachers also argue against the use of assistive technology for children with learning disabilities as they feel that it encourages cheating and is unfair on the other students. They also feel that children would become dependent on this technology and would be unable to perform without the technology. However speech recognition technology has been found by Raskind and Higgins (1999) to be effective in improving word recognition, spelling and comprehension in children with learning disabilities. The technology was used for 50 minutes a week over sixteen weeks by the experimental group and was found to dramatically increase abilities over the control group. Spelling errors are also corrected 37% of the time when a spell checker is used compared to only 9% when they are not (MacArthur et al, 1996). Though it can be argued that spell checker technology does not improve spelling ability as errors are automatically flagged up, this can be rectified using hand-held spell checkers where the student would have to manually find errors.

    References
    Edyburn, D. L. (2007). Technology-enhanced reading performance: Defining a research agenda. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(1), 146-152.
    Lenhart, A., Smith, A., & MacGill, A. R. (2008). Writing, Technology and Teens. Pew Research Center Publications.
    MacArthur, C. A., Graham, S., Haynes, J. B., & DeLaPaz, S. (1996). Spelling Checkers and Students with Learning Disabilities: Performance Comparisons and Impact on Spelling. The Journal of Special Education, 30(1), 35-57.
    Raskind, M. H., & Higgins, E.L. (1999). Speaking to read: The effects of speech recognition technology on the reading and spelling performance of children with learning disabilities. Annals of Dyslexia, 49(1), 251-281.

  5. Prensky (2001) stated that technology in education as it is fun for children as it can encourage and engage them in what they are learning. Ertmer, Gopalakrishman and Ross (2001) stated the emphasis teachers had on the importance on technology in schools as it is still seen as an important professional competency and is positively beneficial to a child’s education. Zhao (2003) stated that a problem with some teachers is that they may not realise how to effectively relate some subjects with technology. Zhao (2003) further stated that teachers must develop their own knowledge so that they can apply technology to help on pedagogical problems. That statement that you said about some children finding it hard to even write thank you is so shocking but then again technology can be used to improve your handwriting through touch-pad technology.

  6. Pingback: Blog Comments Week 4 | lon03

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