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EDUC 649 – Final Paper

Educating with Multiple Technologies Final Paper Kenza Tikito Chapman University

EDUC 649 – Final Paper


Introduction Before taking this course I had little knowledge about the infusion of technology in educational settings since I have never taken an education or technology course before, and had no prior work experience in this field either. I was not sure what to expect from this course but was open to learning about the integration of technology in the classroom. I knew that technology could have a great impact on education just like it did on many other fields such as business, media etc. I also knew that it could play an important role in education by allowing students to communicate faster and more effectively, and be more creative in their work by using tools such as PowerPoint and Prezi. I also used to believe that technology could make learning more enjoyable and activities more fun for students, which will in turn make them want to learn more about a subject and develop new passions and interests. Pros Technology has revolutionized how teachers teach and how students learn. The use of technology in schools has also made the process of learning and teaching enjoyable. Technology has made it easier for teachers to communicate knowledge and information to the students and for students to learn it. Smart boards allow teachers to teach and share information with students in different ways. PowerPoint presentations and other animation software such as Prezi are used to present information in an interactive way, which makes it easier to get students’ attention. Furthermore, the use of projectors, screens, speakers and microphones allow teachers to teach a large number of students simultaneously.

EDUC 649 – Final Paper


Accessibility of information is also one of the biggest positive impacts that technology had on education. Students find Internet to be an effective tool for acquiring knowledge. Students can now retrieve all types of information easier and faster than ever before via their personal computers and cell phones. Moreover, students no longer have to physically attend classes to be a part of one classroom. They can attend a class virtually at the comfort of their home. In particular, Google Docs has been a great tool for students to use when working on group projects. Students no longer have to drive somewhere else to meet with their friends—they can work on their projects from anywhere and at any time. Another positive aspect of technology infusion in educational settings is the fact that students improve their computer literacy. Students’ computer skills are enhanced since joining online discussions require exposure to several computer applications. Students’ social skills also develop. Students get to help one another in case teachers are no longer available. They can post questions on their homework or essay in online groups, which are viewable and accessible to everyone in the class, including professors. This facilitates information sharing, while developing students’ collaboration skills.

The integration of Twitter in the classroom, if used for educational purposes only, can have a positive impact on education. Twitter encourages students to participate more in class especially those who are not comfortable expressing themselves orally in front of students. Twitter has great potential for making educational experiences engaging, creative, fun, and interactive for students. Another potential benefit of Twitter for students is the fact that Twitter is simple since you are only limited to using a 140

EDUC 649 – Final Paper


characters. Consequently, students are forced to get straight to the point by using and presenting words that are useful and relevant while presented in a concise manner, which is an effective skill to have developed for the workplace. When the use of Twitter aligns with lesson objectives, tweeting can be an effective way to facilitate learning and provide educational collaboration and diversity to the classroom. Along with social media tools like Twitter, Edmodo is also a great tool for teachers to use with their students in the classroom. Edmodo is a great way to stay connected with the classroom, and for students to stay connected with each other. It is very easy to give students feedback on their work and teachers can always leave a comment under students’ comments or whatever students upload on the site. Edmodo is a fantastic way to teach students about social media since it is a safe space for them to learn. It also allows teachers and students to connect with a specific group in the classroom, so not everyone has to read the work and comments of other groups in the classroom. In addition to making education more entertaining, technology makes the most complex and least popular subjects more enjoyable to learn. For instance, interactive math websites provide students with extra assistance with math problems and so in a manner, which is both fun and educational. Voice Thread is a great example to cite in this case. It is a technology tool in which students and teachers can upload images, documents, and videos. Teachers can add audio or written comments to the visual images uploaded. The advantages of using Voice Thread include increased level of engagements and motivation upon the students’ learning. Learning becomes enjoyable especially for

EDUC 649 – Final Paper


students with learning disabilities. Voice Thread is also a great tool to help differentiate and meet the needs of different learners depending on which area they are having difficulties with. The audio component of Voice Thread greatly helps with students’ comprehension because it allows them to engage in the content without getting overwhelmed by the large quantities of text. Cons Besides the positive effects that come with the infusion of technology in educational settings, there are also negative effects. Technology can be a distraction to the students who tend to text with each other in class when they should not be doing so. This is a major distraction, which greatly impacts their concentration levels. Also, one of the challenges of using Google Docs with a class full of students is in managing all the Google Docs. While it is easy for students to learn to share their work with teachers, the amount of notifications that ends up in teachers’ email boxes can be overwhelming. Another negative aspect of technology infusion in educational settings is cheating. Students can make little efforts and still get good grades because they can easily search for solutions for all kinds of problems they have for their homework by simply using Google. Technology has made cheating easier than ever before. One of the main negative aspects of classroom technology is financial. Not every school can afford having one or all of their classrooms fully equipped. At best some schools can only afford a limited number of computers. Moreover, once computers are purchased for a school, the cost of maintenance can be too expensive for the school to maintain.

EDUC 649 – Final Paper


Another setback of using technology in educational settings is that traditional instructors find it difficult to adopt the new system especially because they were used to handouts and one-on-one lectures. If the teacher and students are not experienced with technology in the classroom, valuable time is often wasted in technical issues. Also, the teacher faces the difficulty of having a class full of students who are all at different skill levels. In some classrooms technology is overused. This can lead to a variety of problems. Many students learn best by physically and mentally interacting with that they are studying. If most of the teaching is done using a computer, these students’ needs are not being met. So technology should be used to supplement the classroom curriculum, but should not be used as the only source of learning for students. Another problem that many teachers face is that students often use computers primarily for games. Consequently, many students associate computers and technology with game playing. Though some teachers can use this to their advantage, if this issue is not addressed in the beginning and if they do not establish rules about computer usage in the classroom, some students may get distracted quickly and will not take advantage of the benefits of technology in the classroom. While social media may be a great tool for students who are not comfortable expressing themselves, students are missing valuable lessons in real-life social skills. Students may find themselves at a disadvantage later on in life during college admission or job interviews when they need to interact with people and deliver a coherent message.

EDUC 649 – Final Paper


At social gatherings and in personal relationships, they need to be able to effectively express themselves and connect with others. There are a few disadvantages of using Twitter too. Although Twitter can be used to benefit a student’s education, it can also do the complete opposite effect and distract a student from engaging in class. A student’s grade can seriously suffer if instead of studying and paying attention in the classroom, all they are doing is tweeting and following other Twitter user’s Tweets. Ultimately, while the debate continues over what role social media should play in the classroom, no one can argue the influence that social networking has on today’s students. This tech-savvy generation conducts much of their life through social media channels. Conclusion While technology can be a great addition to the classroom, it can also be a source of frustration for both teachers and students. When teaching using technology, teachers must be aware of the potential difficulties technology can bring to the learning process. Despite the negative aspects of technology infusion in educational settings, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Technology and social media in particular are changing the way students communicate in the classroom. Social media tools and networking sites encourage students to interact with each other, share ideas and express their creativity. Because it is easy to use and accessible from virtually everywhere and at any time, social media improves communication among students and teachers.

EDUC 649 – Final Paper

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Overall, I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot about using technology in the classroom, which I see as very valuable. I was impressed with the different programs out there and I feel more confident now about using all of the technology tools we learned during this semester. As I mentioned before in my introduction, I have never taken a class that has covered this material. Though I had a hard time learning about a new field and applying technology tools in the classroom in the beginning of the semester, I think being exposed to these topics in this fashion was beneficial in that it increased my interest in the field of educational technology. I found all of the tools that we learned in this course interesting but I will not use most of them in real life since I am not an educator. However, I enjoyed learning how to create a Wix website which I think will be very beneficial to further my career in nutrition education. Once I learned how to create a Wix website, I felt comfortable using it. This is a great site for people like me who are interested in creating or leading an organization. I liked the fact that Wix is very convenient and looks professional. I would be very interested in learning more about other sites like Wix in the future. In my case, I am planning on creating a website for nutrition education for college students. I am currently doing research on the impact of nutrition education on undergraduate and graduate students and I would like to be able to share my research findings, fitness and nutrition tips with students through my website. Wix seems to be a great tool to share my passion and ideas with people interested in the same things I am, and it also makes it easier for people to get in touch with me by having access to my personal contact information. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in building a site for their organization or business.


EDUC 649 Final Paper