When I was in elementary school, Wednesday’s were my favorite because that was the day that we got to go to the computer lab. We were able to play games and use Kid Pix to make some quality artwork. In middle school, it was always really exciting when you walked into a classroom and the rolling stand with the 20″ boxy TV was standing at the front of the classroom. Teachers would also have to check out overhead projectors from the library if they needed them because there weren’t enough for each teacher to have their own.
Once I hit 8th grade and was getting ready for high school, Smart Boards were introduced, and I thought they were the coolest thing to hit the classroom. I actually started to enjoy math because that was where Smart Boards were first introduced in my school. I was unhappy to become a junior in high school, because the school purchased iPads for the freshmen and sophomores. My grade always missed out on the cool stuff! Once I realized that they blocked YouTube and Facebook and all game apps, though, I wasn’t upset anymore. During my senior year, the school purchased Chrome Books that were on a portable cart for the juniors and seniors. That was the first time that our school had enough technology for everybody to use.
When I walk into a classroom now, everybody has a laptop or an iPad or is sitting at a computer. The teacher is using Google Classrooms, and students are interacting with their peers on sites like Kahoot! and Writeabout. Even when the teacher isn’t at school, students can still learn thanks to tools like Screencastify. Smart Boards aren’t really even the “cool thing” to have in classrooms anymore.
Because technology is advancing at such a rapid pace and more and more apps are being developed specifically for the classroom, students are starting to learn at a faster pace. They have access to information faster than ever before. Smart phones allow students to search the song lyrics to the newest Beyonce song, and less than ten seconds later, they are posting pictures of their Chicken Patty on a Bun cafeteria lunch to Instagram. When I snuck my cell phone under my desk to check my text messages during class, I thought I was so sneaky. Now teachers are asking their students to get their phones out in class and respond to survey questions using special apps and websites.
Maybe teachers are afraid that if they don’t let their students use their devices at school, eventually the students will start defying them and use them anyway. I, however, think that teachers are taking advantage of this technology explosion! They are letting students use their devices in class to enhance their learning. Teachers are staying up-to-date on the best educational apps so they can help their students learn even better. The growth of technology since I was in high school (and that was only three years ago) has come at such a rapid pace that teachers don’t really have a choice but to allow their students to use technology in the classroom. If students can learn better using technology, though, this whole technology boom is probably the best thing that can happen to education!