To some educators and educational observers the answer to this question is a strong yes. They feel that with the advancing world, the ever coming technological advancements students will be deprived of a good education if they are not exposed to the technology in their classes. These supporters of technology in education have many reasons to uphold their argument. They are:
- Technology will help students be ready for future careers
- A great way to meet diversity in the classroom
- Supposed better interaction between students
- Supports teamwork
- It allows the teacher to prepare their students for a technological based world
- Keeps students engaged in what is going on in the world
- Using technology makes for a happier student, supposedly
- Makes accessing information easier and faster
- Changes the role of the teacher
- Gives more control to the student over their learning
These are some of their arguments and while many may be valid some may not be. Technology in the classroom can be a benefit but it should not be seen as a savior to education. This is one of the weaknesses of the supporters of technology in the classroom. The technological advances are seen as being the ultimate educational tool and everything else is inferior or not relevant- including the teacher.
Whether these restructuring the teacher role or arguments are based in the supporters’ educational experience is not known but they and many others like them keep trying to take the teacher out of their vital role and make them an afterthought. The teacher has become the enemy while technology has become the vital educational tool. This weakness is a mistake. Technology cannot restructure or replace the teacher and their role. What elements a teacher brigns ot their class cannot be copied and replaced by technological advances. This includes the idea of using robots as teaching units instead of humans.
Technology has its place in the classroom. The ever changing world has seen to that but it does not need to take over the classroom. Some of the points in the supporter’s arguments are found in the non-technological classroom. These include developing teamwork, interaction among students, and the emotional attitude of the student. These elements have their roots in other sources not technology. While a student may be happy to use technology, that expectation will not cure the emotional problems a student has due to other mitigating factors in their lives.
The development of team work never suffered when technology was just a dream in a scientist’s mind. No student suffered from a lack of teamwork when they had to do activities that required more than one student’s involvement. The same goes for the interaction between students. If anything technology has actually hindered that development, not enhanced it.
At best education’s use of technology should be limited to using it as merely a tool not as the integral part of teaching. There is a place for technology in the classroom but not in a dominate role. That role still belongs to the teacher.