The face of educational technology is rapidly changing. Technology used to be looked at as a reward. Well-behaved students could earn time playing the infamous Oregon Trail game that was ever so popular in the early 1990s. Looking at today’s classroom, each student has a device (whether it is school issued or BYOD), the teacher has a laptop docked in order to connect to the SmartBoard. This technology has been integrated in order to prepare students for the job market of the future. Many people cannot even imagine what these future jobs will look like, but it is imperative that the students be technologically prepared for the jobs.
While the classroom has undergone a digital shift, so has the educational philosophy guiding the classroom. The high school classroom is no longer a place where students sit in a desk and listen to a teacher lecture for the class period. The shift has been to a more Constructivist approach to learning. While the Objectivist approach is no longer as prevalent, it is not completely extinct (Roblyer 2016). As any educator knows, many classes thrive on utilizing a blend of theories and approaches. This blend creates well-rounded learners prepared to contribute to society.
Roblyer (2016) discusses that technology in the classroom, while it is of the utmost importance, must be integrated correctly and responsibly in order to be effective. The teacher must be given adequate professional development and planning time in order to properly integrate technology in the classroom. The goal should be to make technology meaningful in the classroom as opposed to forcing it where it does not fit. Roblyer (2016) argues that technology integration is not a panacea, and it has never been meant to replace teachers. Technology is a tool that, when used properly, can engage students in the curriculum and prepare them for future jobs. It is crucial for the educator to integrate the technology in a meaningful way. Additionally, Roblyer (2016) argues that technology should not just be used for remediation. At many schools, technology is used in remediation. While this is an important use for technology, it should also be used for enrichment and creativity. Allowing technology to be used for more than just remediation and assessment will create a more enthusiastic response to it in the classroom.
Technology in the classroom can be one of the greatest assets a teacher possesses; however, it is up to the teacher to create a creative learning environment where technology is used in a meaningful way. In the end, the success of the learning theories and tools begins and ends with the educator. The teacher must be given the proper professional development and time in order to properly integrate technology into the curriculum.
Roblyer, M. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (7th ed.). Massachusetts: Pearson.