Technology in the classroom

As the world gradually enters the age of hybrid cars and humanoid robots, traditional textbooks and turn-in trays are being replaced by PDFs and web services such as Google Classroom and Turnitin.com. The New York Times finds that more than 30 million primary and secondary school students rely on Google education apps. Currently, at our school, the freshman World Cultures classes have lessons on how to use technology integrated into their curriculum.

“We have seen technology evolve in the classroom. In elementary school, we used to be able to use computers twice or three times a month. However in high school, some classes have their own sets of laptops and even if they do not, you still see students using them on a daily basis,” Freshman Cooper Rosenberg said.

The prominence of Google in schools is prompting a change in education. Ellen Granberg of Vanderbilt University finds that technology helps students share ideas, raises the quality of class discussion and involves students more deeply in their education. Additionally, the Purdue University posits that technology has made education more accessible, providing resources such as Khan Academy and various podcasts to teach students.

Online various classroom tools also benefit the teaching of academic knowledge by allowing students various methods to present their work: for example, applications such as Google Docs provide students with a myriad of technology-based tools to work on school assignments, and Turnitin.com has an internet-based plagiarism detection service which ensures academic integrity among students. By bringing technology into schools, schools are teaching students skills that will be applicable outside of school.

“As a teenager born in the 21st century, I have been surrounded by high-tech devices all my life. I have relied on technology to produce a more effective and engaging learning experience. Technology can open doors to a completely different range of opportunities, distinct from the ordinary classroom,” Senior Soohyun Choi said.

However, the prominence of technology in schools may not be completely beneficial. Fortune finds that technology is not yet a proven solution for learning. Moreover, it also emphasizes the disparity between the affluent and the poor—as of 2013, the money spent on high tech devices in classrooms reached $13 billion worldwide, making it considerably difficult for schools in less affluent areas to afford the technology. With many school districts in the nation dealing with budget cuts, some have to fall back on bonds to maintain the high price of having technology in their schools.

“Technology is a double-edged sword when it comes to education. It has many benefits, as it allows students to obtain information on a scale never seen before. On the other hand, these abilities can also cause distractions, as the internet gives students access to games and social media. However, I think the benefits of technology balance out these potentially negative effects,” Junior Alyssa Chen said.