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It’s that time of year again; the beginning of a new school year. Each student donning new outfits, school supplies and refreshed attitudes fill the school halls. Facility services rush to replace old projector light bulbs and make sure all school computers are up to date and in working condition. The new year also welcomes the introduction of new technology within the classroom. Teachers excitedly announce to their students that they will be trying new technologies to enhance the quality of their education. We have all been there; seeing a new computer installed or a SMART board replacing what was once a chalk board. With each passing year, classrooms are witnessing greater updates in technology and devices.
Chalk boards have become a thing of the past. Classrooms are now filled with white boards, SMART boards and projection screens in order to accommodate for the main source of teaching, PowerPoint presentations. As technologies become more advanced, educational institutions become more reliant upon them. Gone are the days of submitting a hand written report, instead opting for email or online drop box submissions. Students can follow along with a lecture on various mobile devices. Lectures can be recorded by laptops or cameras installed in the classroom for teachers to create podcasts that will later be posted online as another resource for studying.
The evolution of technology in the classroom is one thing, but a t this rate, it seems as though classrooms themselves will one day disappear. Students could and probably will one day have the option to learn completely through online correspondence, watching podcasts and completing online activities. However, a presence in a classroom provides an intangible advantage. Despite whatever the latest technology may be, in class interactions are something that will never go out of style. Important life skills are developed in the daily interactions between students and teachers as well as, students with other students. Classroom technologies will continue to develop but these devices will be there as an aid and a resource. Skills that will one day be needed on the job are established because of interactions experienced face to face with others. Friendships that formed within the classroom will be maintained through technology once outside the classroom and increasingly during class time. Group projects can be instantly sent to each group member through one email or Facebook chat. Links and videos can be shared right away.
The abundance of knowledge available through the Internet can quite frankly be a little overwhelming. But having easy access to this information benefits the classroom and reinforces what is being learned. Students can grasp a more complete picture of topics. Questions that were once hard to answer, can be Goggled in order to provide some information and encourage students to get involved in their education.
Like with anything in life, there are pros and cons to everything. Classrooms may say goodbye to more traditional tools like pen and paper, and hello to laptops, tablets and other mobile devices, but the quality of practical experience within the classroom is something that will always remain. The combination of face to face interaction and the availability of online resources will work together in providing students with the best possible education.