The classroom computer used to be what all the students would gather around every day. Remember gathering around and watching demonstrations or taking turns to play games? Now there is so much more that can be done, including using tablets for educational purposes. Ars Technica said it’s important not to stop there, as students can push technology boundaries much further in their education.
“The students I’m teaching now can get infinitely more information so much quicker than earlier classes ever could,” a professor of the European history of ideas told the news source. “But they are capable of doing less with it. They seem stunned in the face of analytical demands.”
That teacher said in an era with emphasis on data and speed, kids may be getting lost in what they are learning, and need to be able to use their own brains in conjunction with technology. Ken Calhoon, a comparative literature teacher at the University of Oregon, said that while it is very quick to find information online, he doesn’t like when students write papers that way. He said he has a beef with the energy it costs him to teach while students are playing on smartphones or laptops.
Of course, some educators are much more positive when it comes to the role of tech in the classroom.
Michael Ross, the senior vice president and general manager of education at Encyclopaedia Britannica, wrote on the company’s blog that because of the significant amount of resources there are available to students, he believes technology will be a big help when appropriately applied in the learning process.
“I am now quite hopeful that before too long our children’s (or grandchildren’s) classrooms will no longer resemble the ones we were in and that the materials that students use will be able to teach critical thinking, advance knowledge, and entertain simultaneously,” he said.
So just what will classrooms of the future look like? Arts Technica proposed they might look like living rooms, designed to promote collaboration rather than lecture-style learning. No longer will students be gathered around the computer. Instead, they’ll each have a personal computer, and will use it to work in virtual spaces with classmates.
What do you remember your classroom computer being like? Do you think technology will help students learn better in the classroom?