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Benefits and Dangers of Educational Technology

Posted by Rachel Evans on
Benefits and Dangers of Educational Technology
Benefits and Dangers of Educational Technology

Benefits and Dangers of Educational Technology

I feel as an level knowledge as these levels will give students an indication of how to apply this knowledge in the real world.

it has become common place. Teachers need to include technology in the curriculum when it is required or enhances the lesson plan. However teachers need to use their experience as leaders in the classroom to make sure to use technology as a tool, and not as a crutch to keep students engaged. A hammer is just a paper weight unless it is used. are the same way; they can be used in a number of ways.

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It has made it easier for schools to save data of student scores and for later comparison. Technology has made it easier for teachers to display information through the use of video, web sites, wikis, search engines, and countless other tools. Technology helps to engage students by making learning exciting and fun. Part of the systematic process for education I believe is the goal for constant improvement. We currently live in an era of near constant technological improvement. I believe if into instruction at a steady and balanced pace, they will not only keep up with learning but move ahead.

But there are dangers and problems with technology as well. Inappropriate material is only a click away as literally millions of web sites are out there that students and in my opinion adults should not be accessing. Furthermore though a web site itself may have proper content, the advertising on the site may be inappropriate for younger people.

I also see a number of complications that can develop such as confidentiality as students submit work online potentially to be displayed for the world to see or sites requiring students to put in confidential information such as name, address, age, email, etc. Reliability of information is a possible problem, as much information coming from the internet is not vetted or verifiable. I see an issue with not all students having equal access from school or home to the needed technologies in the classroom. The last issue I will mention will be the fact that many teachers will not have the time or resources to keep up with these fast and will become reluctant to try.

I believe for schools to ensure a safe environment online for students that they need to be over protective. Web filters need to be set higher than perhaps needed. Technology needs to be screened and reviewed completely before being turned over to students. This is a catch 22 type situation as you do not want to hold back a school and its students to technology, but we must always be careful to what we expose them to as well.

Many schools need to have more professional development opportunities for teachers so they are not only prepared, but up to date. Web 2.0 technology and new web sites are being developed by the thousands literally every day of the year. This information needs to be researched by teachers, administration, or technology committees in a reliable and efficient manner. If this is done the positives certainly outweigh the negatives. Educational technology is here let’s embrace it.

Blogging

Top Five Educational Technology Blogs

Posted by Rachel Evans on
Top Five Educational Technology Blogs

Top Five Educational Technology Blogs

Top Five Educational Technology Blogs

Although I would love to promote my own educational strategies and technology blog, Revolutionize Education, there are five great educational technology blogs that I make sure to check at least once a week to get ideas for my teaching. These websites have regular updates and many of the things they post are technologies I’ve never even heard or thought of. These websites inspire the often and efficiently throughout the curriculum.

I find myself adding new educational blogs to my favorites on a daily basis but here are the top five educational technology blogs that I’ve ever seen.

Jane’s Pick of the Day

Jane Hart’s blog was actually the first educational blog that I ever started to follow on a regular basis. She is always bringing new ideas to the table from her experience working with technology and explaining how to use technology in the classroom at the many workshops she attends. Her yearly, top 100 lists for useful technologies in the classroom is a thing of beauty and I look for ideas from it frequently.

iLearn Technology

This blog has been a favorite of mine for a while. Kelly Tenkely is a technology integration consultant after spending years of teaching. A lot of the technologies on this website are easily transitioned to the classroom as she provides a lot of examples and ideas for how to use stuff. The technology presented on her website can be applied to so many different subjects that it is truly remarkable.

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day
Great website created by Larry Farlazzo that is aimed towards providing resources for teachers of ELL, ESL and EFL. A lot of resources can translate to any subject.

Kleinspiration

Erin Klein is the author of this great new blog. Just recently running across this blog, I immediately searched through it and was amazed at the amount of resources that I had never seen on these other great technology websites. There is especially a lot for the elementary level instructor.

Free Technology For Teachers
Richard Byrne knows his technology. He has been nominated for a lot of awards and accolades for his role in making technology relevant. His website is great for social studies teachers especially as he shows a lot of ways that technology can be used for teaching current events. This is a must-read for every teacher that wants to incorporate some technology in the classroom and at the top of my favorites list.

Blogging

Can the iPad Replace All Educational Technology?

Posted by Rachel Evans on
Can the iPad Replace All Educational Technology?
Can the iPad Replace All Educational Technology?

Can the iPad Replace All Educational Technology?

The Apple iPad has, in many ways, revolutionized consumer technology. People like the iPad because it allows for myriad content mediums to be enjoyed in a very portable package. Schools are quickly jumping on the tablet bandwagon and discussing whether something like the iPad could replace computer labs and laptops. Before making this type of move, schools must consider a number of factors.

Cost considerations

The iPad is more affordable than other Apple products, such as laptops and desktops. However, schools can still get some PC-based computers for less money than an iPad. Computers aren’t as trendy anymore, but as an educational device they are in many ways just as functional. In addition, the use of iPads may also require a certain amount of software, networking and support. With portable devices, schools also have to think about damage and theft, which can be a major problem at larger schools.

Consumption versus production

One major challenge with something like an iPad is that it is really designed as a consumption device rather than a production device. In other words, the iPad is better for reading and viewing than it is for writing and creating. Students can certainly produce a wide diversity of content just by manipulating data around the touch screen. However, due to the software limits of many apps, that content may be more rudimentary than documents produced on a computer. I have found success in producing content on an iPad, but I still prefer a standard computer or laptop for some projects. Future students may be more comfortable with a tablet, but I don’t see them being able to overcome certain software limitations.

Curricular infusion

One of the major challenges faced by schools is how to incorporate the iPad into the curriculum. At best the iPad can augment good teaching and get students excited about a particular subject. At worst, the tablet can be a distraction that does not provide the depth of content needed for the classroom. Teachers must find appropriate materials that allow for actual learning, as opposed to simply using a device because it is there. Textbooks on an iPad can be expensive, and not every subject will seamlessly integrate with this technology. I have seen some educational apps that look very exciting, while others are a bit cumbersome. Such is the nature of technology, even technology that comes in a shiny package.

Accessories

There is also the reality that purchasing an iPad is not just about acquiring the device. There are also accessories such as keyboards, cases, cables, apps and networking hardware. This can add to the cost and put a strain on technology budgets. Therefore, schools must realize that they are making a bigger commitment than just the device. If schools sign up with a company like Apple, they are deciding to do business with a unique type of company for potentially a long time.

Future trends

The iPad is very popular right now, but there is no guarantee that this will always be the case. Just a few years ago schools were scrambling to build computer labs, which were followed by carts full of laptops. The iPad is compact and versatile, but it also has some limits. Before schools rush to purchase a large number of iPads, they should honesty assess the pro and cons, and avoid getting lost in the hype of new technology. As a consumer and an educator, I do like the iPad a great deal. It is powerful, versatile, and easy to carry around to a variety of settings. However, it has limits, and I think schools have to be careful that they do not sacrifice productivity for popularity.

The author teaches at the college level and prior to entering the classroom he spent many years in administration. On occasion he also enjoys the pure entertainment of substitute teaching at the high school and middle school levels.