If Technology Is Effective in the Classroom – Why Do Some Students Dislike It So Much?

Technology Is Effective in the Classroom has become an issue that is causing controversy. Although many teachers and students believe it is best to utilize technology as it improves teaching some feel that it creates numerous problems and it’s a waste of time. If technology is as efficient in the classroom, as many teachers think it is and why do students hate it so much?

To provide an objective answer to the question objectively, three articles were analyzed. 2 of the 3 describe how the use of technology in classrooms frustrates students. The third is a reflection of the opinions of students who believe that technology has been used in the classroom to respond to their needs. Therefore, the issue isn’t that technology is not working but rather that teachers must be aware of the use of technology in the classroom. Other teachers require training to use technology in the classroom to ensure that students don’t consider technology to be a hindrance to learning, but instead as a positive instrument.

After analyzing the three articles we have reviewed, we can show that there are two types of students who are said to be disliking technologies in classrooms: those who were not exposed properly to them by their teachers and those who didn’t spend enough time to become familiar with the technology. Then, we will be able to come to the conclusion that these students would recognize the importance that technology can bring to the classroom if teachers made use of it in a proper manner. Let’s first review the sources we’re talking about.

The article “When technology is great, it’s not good for teaching” reveals that many students believe that their teachers and professors employ technology in order to display their skills. Students complain that technology is creating teachers “less efficient than they could be if they just listened to an instruction on a chalkboard” (Young) other issues that students have to face include teachers who use their time teaching about the web or show off the use of a projector or other software. If teachers aren’t familiar with technology tools and tools, they will take longer to utilize them. The tech-savvy software that is used the most, according to the students’ opinions is PowerPoint. Students are unhappy that teachers employ PowerPoint instead of their lesson plans. Many students say that it makes comprehension more difficult “I call it PowerPoint abuse” (Young). Teachers also send their PowerPoint presentations on the school board prior to or after class. This can encourage students to skip more classes.

Another issue mentioned in the article concerning the technology used in classrooms is that a lot of schools have time to educate their staff on how to utilize a specific technology, but they do not provide them with “strategies to use them well” (Young). The author believed the schools must also offer small amounts of money to encourage teachers and professors to go to seminars.

In an interview conducted with 13 students, “some gave their teacher a failing when it came to using PowerPoint, Course Management systems and other classroom technology” (Young ) Certain of the complaints were concerning the improper use of PowerPoint’s features and the fact that instructors utilize PowerPoint to explain the contents of the scale. Another concern was that teachers not familiar with technology are often wasting the class time by spending longer resolving issues instead of teaching. The final complaint concerns teachers who force students to post comments on chat rooms online every week however they don’t check the results or discuss the topic during class.

In the same way, the article “I’m not a computer person” (Lohnes 2013) is a clear indication that expectations for students regarding technology-related are very different. In a study of 34 students at a university for undergraduates, they advised the use of technology as an essential aspect of the life of a student at university as they everything online, from applying to college or university in search of and registering to classes, paying tuition, and is in addition to being integrated into the administration, etc. Technology is also used extensively for teaching and is admired by higher education.

However, some students consider technology to be obstacles to their progress as they are unable to conform to the way in which the institution views technology.” Students explain that technology is utilized in their first year of college to complete assignments, take part in discussions on websites and boards, send emails to professors, examine grades, and for a broad array of other administrative tasks such as tracking the school’s next bus. The student who is referred to by her name is Nichole claims that she doesn’t have a laptop, but she does share a computer in the family. There is an older brother who makes use of the computer to finish his schoolwork, so she must work late in order to finish assignments. She says “technology and me? There was never a connection between us” (Lohnes). Nichole disapproves of the fact that her school requires to have more interaction with technology than she’s acceptable with. However, she says that when she began doing the school assignments online often, she began to see that they’re quite acceptable.

One of her problems when it comes to tech is the fact that she was from Puerto Rico about a year before entering college, and she was not required to use computers so often in Puerto Rico. The article mentions that college students similar to Nichole have acknowledged the fact that they’re “reluctant technology users” (Lohnes) The article aims to clarify the premise that while most people believe that college students are tech-savvy and are already comfortable with technology,” that assumption is faulty” (Lohnes).

However, there is the piece “What Screenagers Say About… ” High school students were questioned about their views on technology, and the majority said they enjoyed it. One said of PowerPoint: “My history teacher did a good job with PowerPoints. He would put them online, which made for really great reviews.” (Screneagers (2011)) Others said that technology is what they were and teachers need to be aware, for instance, that when students use text messages in class, they’re not being rude, but they are used to multi-tasking. A student encourages teachers to not be scared of technology “Teachers shouldn’t be afraid of technology. Understand that it’s how we live our lives. So don’t just push it out. Learn to cope with us and how we work.” (Screenagers, 2011)

A different student, however, stated that she would rather use a simpler system which her instructor is familiar using rather than technology which the teacher cannot control well “The most important thing for teachers is to be comfortable with what they’re using. It doesn’t have to be super high-tech. My math teacher used a projector, and it was one of my favorite classes. Then I would go to this other class where the teacher used PowerPoints and the SMARTboard, but I didn’t get any more out of it because she wasn’t comfortable with the technology” (Screenagers (2011)) Students shared their admiration for almost every type of technology that is used within the school. One student said “One of my teachers used Skype. That’s face-to-face interaction. If I had a problem with some math problem I was working on, I could take a picture of it and put it on the Skype screen. She could see where I was making my mistake. It really helped.” (Screenagers 2011,) The main point is that these teenagers wanted their teachers to know that they love technology and that it’s already an element of their lives however, it must be utilized properly to be able to take advantage of it.

They also outlined the things they do not like. They mentioned using computers to read and paying for online textbooks in addition to the fact they tend to forget about other things as they are caught up in the use of technology.

But, they did have more positive things they enjoyed in the field of technology. For instance, they liked teachers who would send them a text message asking them to consider prior to class. If they don’t know the answer, they could communicate with students to discuss possible solutions for the answer prior to class. This lets them go to class with a plan. They also love using Skype and emailing their teachers instead of having to meet their teachers face-to-face. They also love the discussion boards. The message they want to give educators is that they ensure that they feel comfortable using any technology tools they’re employing and to allow the users more freedom to use websites that are good and ones that are in the middle of the range when surfing the web using computers at school and to recognize that technology is a part of their daily lives.

In a summary of these pieces, it is clear that the students in Youngs 2004, 2004 are not a fan of technology due to their experience with technology was not pleasant. In other words, some students are dissatisfied with technology due to the fact that some teachers aren’t aware of technology usage or need more training. Some students are annoyed because they feel that teachers are wasting their time because they’re not properly prepared to utilize the technology tools. Some people were dissatisfied with the fact that teachers could use PowerPoint presentations that were ineffective or they would simply read what they wrote and leave no comments. The examples that are mentioned are known as “bad teaching” (Young 2004) and are actually horrible examples that teachers shouldn’t follow since technology should not be used to assist teachers in doing the least amount of work or implement poor teaching practices. Many students reported that PowerPoint was frequently used by teachers and they refer to it as PowerPoint misuse.

I can identify with the feelings said by these students. I watched an Assistant Teacher teaching a grammar class. He bought a gadget that allowed him to view the screen, without touching the computer. He could walk around the class and change slides. The entire thing was stunning however, despite all the spectacle, the students were with a lot of confusion at the conclusion in the course. When they had questions, the teacher went on to the screen with the grammar rule and handed it out to students. It was clear that the PowerPoint was a reprint of the chapter in the textbook. The same illustrations from the book were employed. After the course, the instructor felt it was a fantastic PowerPoint however it wasn’t really worth the effort. It was a copy/paste presentation of the book onto the screen. This is a good example of how we must use common sense when working with technology. In the classroom teachers must be capable of coming up with instances that are not that are in the textbook. You need to draw on the board, allow students to take a test of what they’ve learned. PowerPoint is a bad choice, in my opinion in teaching this class. It wasn’t the appropriate technology tool to teach the lesson.

Students in the class might find themselves hating Power Points because it confuses them more, but the problem is not related to PowerPoint but rather with the teacher’s bad selection of technology. One thing I would like to highlight is that teachers can not be aware of their poor usage of technology. This is the reason we, as educators, often have to solicit students’ comments so that we can correct any mistakes that need to be made.

It is possible to conclusively conclude that students do not like technology because of the inadequate use of technology by teachers. It is, in addition, teachers aren’t attending workshops or training sessions that assist them in gaining a greater understanding of technology because they are often overwhelmed. As suggested by (Youngs 2004) and (Lohnes 2012) the teachers who are busy would have attended the training sessions when they were offered incentives. According to the report “Technology Standards in a Third-Grade Classroom” (Kovalik 2001), the author explains the study that was conducted in a class of 25 students revealed that they had a good understanding of technology. There’s no evidence that the students are not happy making use of technology. The article also mentioned that the teachers had been highly educated due to the fact that the Ohio board provides incentives for teachers to take part in training for technology, which teaches them how to utilize technology, but also gives them strategies for when to utilize technology but also how to use them.

Boards from other states must think about doing the same to make sure they are adapting to the technology needs of their students and teach them in accordance with the requirements. The Ohio school above was able to meet the requirements as far as technology is concerned due to the tech-related coaching provided by the teachers. If teachers are taught how to effectively use technology in the classroom this will result in an easier experience for them as well as students who are more likely to enjoy technology because it serves its purpose to improve the teaching.

Other students who are not a fan of technological advances are the ones who weren’t exposed to technology for long enough. The College freshman, Nichole says that she wasn’t subjected to this level of technology when she was attending high school back in her native country and, as a result, it appeared to be a burden for her to be required to use computers to finish the majority of her schoolwork, and also to connect with her classmates on the internet via a discussion board. It is fascinating that despite her claim that she was not a fan of technology, however, once she had spent long hours using it, she realized that it’s not that bad. Although it is true that some people don’t enjoy using the phone or texting as much, computers, as well as some websites, have become a part of people’s daily lives. For Nichole she doesn’t own a laptop and must wait to be the first one to utilize the computer in the family, this means she doesn’t have any attachment to the internet because the use she makes of it is restricted. Once she’s able the opportunity to have her own laptop and is equipped with a laptop, it is certain that her perception of technology will shift.

I went back to school after 12 years. While I went to college for the first time around, there was nothing electronic, but when I called USF for an application, the staff said that everything was on the internet. At first, I was confused as to why everything was on the internet but after I acclimated to the idea, I came to realize the importance of being able to complete a variety of things, without being confined to in my house.

Thus, Nichole will certainly not remain averse to technology so as she becomes more acquainted and more dependent on technology. It is true that she claimed that she began to realize that it wasn’t so bad once she started taking on numerous assignments. She concluded that the computer wasn’t at all a good friend, but it had become an enemy, it was for her an associate.

Based on the backgrounds of some students who are ELL and how they had exposure to the latest technology within their own country It is possible that they will not enjoy technology at first, but this shouldn’t be a reason to believe that they won’t come to appreciate technology. As teachers, we have to give them time to become familiar with the technology while continuing to make sure that we use it correctly in order to not promote it, or communicate information that is not relevant to the true benefits of technology.

However, this article points out the reality that the current generation is driven by technology and, when properly used the students benefit from it in the classroom There are a variety of ways that teachers have employed technology to teach that are well-liked by students. What is the best conclusion?

It has been proven that technology can be effective in the classroom. However, teachers should take some steps to make the tool more effective for students. It is imperative that they receive some instruction in the event that they are not trained as one student suggests during the Screenager Screenager report, teachers must avoid using complex tools if they’re not certain of how to utilize the tools. It is best to employ a tool that is simpler than one which they are comfortable with. This is similar to the suggestions of a high school student.

Additionally, it is essential that teachers look over the many tools available to them and research them prior to introducing them into their teaching. If they try to test tools that do not perform well then they should quit using them and look for an alternative that is more suitable. In the end, technology isn’t always the solution. This is the reason teachers must be able to use it in a balanced manner. If it is necessary that we use the boards and chalk to aid students to understand the concepts, that is the best thing to do. In doing so, we’ll ensure that students will appreciate the application and use of technologies within the classroom, and what it’s worth.

Work cited

Kovalik, Cindy, Lynn Smolen Kovalik, Cindy, Lynn Smolen, and Jazmine Toddy. “Technology Standards In A Third Grade Classroom. “Journal of Research on Computing in the Education 33.5 (2001) 1-17. Academic Search Premier.
Web. 9 Aug. 2013

Lohnes Watulak, Sarah. “‘I’m not a Computer Person” Learning to Negotiate the Academic Environment
Discourses.” British Journal Of Educational Technology 43.1(2012):109-118. OmniFile Full Text
Mega (H.W.Wilson). Web.9Aug. 2013.

Young, Jeffrey R. “When Good Technology Means Bad Teaching” Chronicle Of Higher Education
51.12(2004): A31-A31. A31-A31. Search Premier. Web.9Aug.2013.

What Screeners have to say about… (2011). Educational Leadership 68(5) (44-46 Wednesday). 9, Aug.2013.

By

NICK MYRCA MALEBRANCHE- GAUTHIER

Subject Classification Technology
8/9/13

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