Tuesday, August 18, 2009
There is no way to escape it. Technology is making a big splash in education. It will be coming to a classroom near you if it is not there already.
Many classrooms are going digital by replacing old chalkboards with electronic podiums that teachers and professors can use, as well as the students when they are doing presentations.
At the click of some buttons, electronic screens can be lowered, projectors can be turned on and PowerPoint presentations of lesson plans can be displayed to the whole class. Many of these electronic podiums also have the capacity to show VCR tapes, DVDs, play audio from the Internet, hook up a laptop and hook up a video camera. Gone are the days of the slide projectors and green, black or white chalkboards that are still in some classrooms.
This technology is making it possible for all kinds of wonderful things to happen in the classroom. Many schools also have a system called Blackboard where it is possible to post previous lesson notes to students, register the grades, create discussion forums, perform podcasts and audio assignments. Things are a lot different for students nowadays than they were when many of us who may teach was at school. Things are a lot different than they were for many of us who are paying for our children to go to school.
The advances in technology will not stop. There will be much more in the making as changes are happening all the time. Many people in schools are looking forward to the day when every classroom has access to computers for the students. Some people who teach do not like this idea because computers can sometimes be a disruptive element in the classroom. With the advent of Facebook, MySpace, MSN Messenger and other social networking sites, some students spend more time communicating with their friends online than actually listening to what is going on in class. Somehow a balance between the advantages and disadvantages of technology in the classroom will be struck.