Out with the Textbooks and In with the Macbooks

Technology in the classroom seems to be growing, but not at the rate it should be. I am very much in favour of bringing technology in to the day to day life of children. Sheltering them from it, is not only hindering a generation, but also potentially slowing their learning process down. There is all sorts of technology available for learning such as Android tablets or the raspberry pi model b. The products are there but perhaps not the finance.

Arguments For Classroom Technology

According to a study, more than half of children ages 8 and younger have access to a mobile device such as an iPod or phone. Furthermore, those who have grown up with the technology we have today, have been described as “exceptionally curious… smart and focused”. This statistic supports the need to integrate technology into the classroom and allow our youth to readily prepare for the way the world will be.

Raspberry pi units are readily available for purchase online from big wholesalers like RS Components and Premier Farnell. For examples, the raspberry pi model b available at RS Components offer those in education a way to be creative and a chance to learn their way around a computer. Although quite a small device, programmers have been able to run a weather system and play Minecraft on the device. Learning how to code and program at a young age is advantageous; just look at Silicon Valley, the largest technology business area located in San Francisco Bay area.

Whilst British teenager, Nick D’Aloisio, was studying for his GCSEs, he developed an app named Summly which summarised news stories. Last year, D’Aloisio sold his app to Yahoo! for a sum of nearly £20 million. He is now working for the tech giant whilst he studies his A Levels. I wish when I was younger I had the opportunity to do something like this, and learn the necessary skills like coding, instead of producing pointless sketches on Microsoft Paint. Whilst I admit those sketches weren’t always on the syllabus, IT courses don’t do enough to teach you what is required to secure you a high end job in the tech industry.

Arguments Against Classroom Technology

The development of certain life skills at an early age is important. Doing your shoelaces, riding your bike and being able to socialise are crucial for development. Technology may compromise these. Also, are children safe on the internet? Say tablet devices were used, there may be cases where children are exploring the internet and are unaware to the dangers. There needs to be strict guidelines and restrictions.

The cost of technology is another dilemma. Providing tablets, computers or laptops to the pupils will set back an educational establishment thousands. Not to mention the cost of program licenses and appropriate internet service.

A Final Word

The development of life skills is the worrying con to technology in the classroom. I believe this is easily sorted by restrictions and limits to what can and cannot be used. The positives by far outweigh the negatives and the case study of D’Aloisio speaks for itself. Bringing in technology is the way forward and I really wish I could have grown up with it.