In this day and age, the use of technology is abundant in many aspects of our lives. We utilize it to increase our comfort, communicate, do things, learn about the world around us, and for many other purposes. As the main purpose of schools is to prepare students for life outside of it, schools’ investment in technology and teacher training is money well spent. In their book, Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching, Allyn and Bacon (2012) use research findings to explain the benefits of properly implemented technology integration. According to them, it has proven to be highly successful in motivating and engaging students, supporting a variety of learning needs, and in preparing students for future learning.
The variety of technological tools offers students ample opportunities for interesting and engaging learning. Students’ natural curiosity and acceptance of visual and interactive technology allows them to access the curriculum more readily. In addition, it supports students’ learning and increases motivation by allowing them to see and engage in authentic examples with real life application, such as in math and science. It also offers students an opportunity to create a wide variety of products through a medium of their choice, which in turn instills a greater sense of ownership and pride in their work.
The wide array of technological tools allows different types of learners to access the curriculum, and to work and be challenged in more individualized environment. Many visual and interactive tools help struggling students by offering them a more private and self-pacing work environment, as well as immediate feedback. On the same note, students can utilize assistive technology tools that compensate for their vision, hearing, or physical difficulties, as they read, interact, or present their work to others. Different types of learners (visual, abstract, auditory, analytic, etc.) also benefit from the wide variety of existing tools as they engage in problem solving tasks, take part in simulations, watch videos, listen to eBooks, etc. Finally, accelerated students can get the opportunity to be challenged through software tutorials or distance learning environments, which would not be feasible without the benefits of technology.
Using technology to support students’ learning is also beneficial for their success in the future, as it prepares them for future learning. The ability to understand and use different applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, multimedia, etc. is becoming essential when analyzing and producing information. Visual literacy is also an increasing trend in our society. As more and more visual messages replace text as communication media, students must learn to interpret, analyze, and communicate using such visual language in order to be participants and contributors in such a technology-immersed society.
Technology is a tool, and like any other tool, in order to benefit from it, it needs to be utilized properly. When it comes to the field of education, learning about and using technology is only a part of the education children get. Therefore, technology must be properly integrated into the rest of the curriculum, so it enhances and enriches children’s journeys as they progress toward their learning goals, and so they leave our educational institution equipped to live and work in a technology-immersed society.
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2012). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.