In our dynamic, technology-saturated world, it seems like a “no-brainer” to incorporate technology into classrooms. Young children are adapting and attaching to these new technologies faster than adults; so why not try to create a fun, beneficial learning environment with these technologies?
The problem with this strategy is too much of it can be a (potentially) bad thing.
Technology is a tool for learning, it is not the learning itself. Technology does not have to be incorporated into lesson plans unless, of course, it has the potential to make the lesson more effective and efficient. Students must be engaged with the technology, not distracted by it. I plan on teaching young children ranging from first to third grade, and it is my job to enforce that. Since my major does not require a specific concentration, I hope to incorporate technology into all subject areas, as applicable and necessary. Technology will allow students to learn the material in a fun, more interactive way but will also enhance their skills within the 4 “C”s. Technology will allow students to be creative and share their ideas with one another and possibly with other students, internationally. Different classrooms have different learning principles that help to intensify and reinforce a student’s learning experience. Inside my classroom, I feel as though it would be appropriate to employ behaviorist learning principles. These principles include:
- learning is a passive process and is the result of a stimulus-response cycle
- teaching and learning strategies focus on creating opportunities for students to perform for rewards and avoid negative actions.
In my experience, both inside the classroom and out, I found that young children tend to learn more efficiently when given a reward for their good behavior. Behaviorist technologies are very simple, advantageous, and enjoyable for young children as well. Examples of these technologies can be found at http://www.funbrain.com.
The use of technology has the opportunity to transform learning throughout millions of classrooms. However it cannot and should not be the focal point. Although I am an advocate for technology for learning, I am also an advocate for the “old-fashioned” way of teaching. Bill Gates brings up a great point in his quote:
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”
Teachers play such an important role in a child’s education, and no form or amount of technology can ever completely replace them.