University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
The Advantages of a Technological Advance Curriculum
As technology advances, more schools are adopting a technological curriculum. Only about 20 years ago computers were not common and very few people understood the importance of the internet. Today almost everyone in America has some sort of device hooked up to the internet. Schools started using technology in the 1980’s, and as time moved on, more and more schools became technologically integrated. Technology integrated schools not only teach classes like computer programming, keyboarding, and web tech but also use technical devices in class. Some people argue that the technological approach to education is not effectively teaching students social skills but instead depriving students of human communication. However, technology in the curriculum is a step forward and can only improve the general education system for three main reasons the technology job field has increased drastically and will continue to do so, the positive benefits are outstanding, and students are more engaged, lastly, technology in the education system has helped people who would normally have difficulties and handicaps. The age at which children learn to use these technologies is decreasing as the popularity of the internet increases. Education department chair, Bill Lynch says technology gets students used to the idea that they are not just a consumer of knowledge but also a creator (Zeeble). Teaching children skills that they can build on and thrive in is one of the most important aspects of the education system. The earlier a student is introduced to the technology world the better they will learn advanced skills in the future. (Effect on technology on classrooms and studies). Children who play video games are not only learning the game but they are learning life skills: Kids are clearly learning how to do certain kinds of things, whether that’s running around, whether that’s actually playing the game. They are learning what to do. Because rules are not given to them, they have to intuit them.
They are learning why to do certain things, which is the strategic part of the game. They are learning where, which is the context of the game… and most important, they’re learning whether to do something or not. So that just because you can hit somebody over the head with a baseball bat in the game, the question is, should you. (Elmasry) Video games promote skills needed like working in teams, collaborating, and other skills needed to succeed (Elmasry). There are many jobs that require even the basic computer skills and there are many jobs that didn’t even exist ten years ago. Social media/online community manager, blogger and online advertizing manager are a few off the list (Liz Ryan). Experts view video games as tools that help kids develop certain skills needed in tomorrow’s workplace. Teaching students how to understand and how to manage technologies used in today’s workforce at an early age is an experience every school should offer. Multiple studies have proven technology in education as positive. In 2005 Empire High School in Vail, Arizona gave every student and Apple laptop and came away with two impressions, students with laptops where more engaged and there was more they could do with the technology (Beardsley). With the internet you have the world’s information at the student’s fingertips; research is more efficient and less time consuming. Schools have seen multiple improvements from higher test scores to better attitudes. “In a west Virginia state wide research study, researchers found that the more time students participated in the Basic skills/ computer education program, the higher the Stanford 9 scores rose.” with technology students are able to complete more complex task improving scores and attitudes. Students in a technology integrated school have shown increases in motivation from multiple perspectives. Many teachers have noted the kids have an increased willingness to work and a want to complete and perfect projects. Students also receive confidence about being able to learn skills that will help support them and their education for the rest of there life’s. (Effect on technology on classrooms and studies). Technology provides a new and changing way that students are able to share information and express themselves. Technology can also help people in situations that might make school a difficult place .
In 2005 Cathy Carolyn’s year long intensive medical technology training program lectures where in MP3 format. Cathy was skeptical at first but she soon saw that her students where learning better than ever before. The students in her classes loved the new system. Busy students could listen to lectures anywhere they need. It also gave the students the option to review as much times as needed. (Zeeble) “It’s about how we can reach out to the students in a way that meets their needs, because so many of today’s students are not the so-called traditional learners” (Zeeble). If a teacher has their lesson online than missing a day or two may not be that big of a deal, but in traditional schools it’s really hard to collect make up work and finish it along with the work you already have. If a student has needs that traditional schools can not meet than technology can always improve the situation. Some people believe that challenging the traditional way of learning is destructive. Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mitch Resnick, said, “ What we found in our research is that children’s best learning experiences come when they are activity engaged in designing things, creating things, inventing things.” Which most believes requires hands on approach. People also challenge the idea of multitasking, humans can only truly focus on one specific thing at a time, the idea of children multitasking is ridiculous (Bouchard). Teachers are also concerned with the level of language presented by students and the deterating vocabulary of students that use technology. Besides these worries children in technological advanced schools are still more advanced than kids who are not. People may argue that technology in the class rooms can be harmful but it’s clear that integrated schools have helped students more than harmed. With rules and close moderation students can use the tools given to them to advance in the system. Technology in schools improves motivation; helps prepare students for the future and can help people who may have difficulties in the regular school system. The world is advancing and many schools are lagging along, soon to be left behind. Hopefully, in the future all schools will be technologically integrated so all children can experience the advanced learning system and excel in all aspects of school.