As a former subsitute teacher that’s had to monitor classes in computer labs at the time being, I would have to say “yes” and “no.” The reason I say yes is that we live in the digital age in which technology is rapidly changing. We’re going to have to teach kids at an early age how to use computers and various programs. School is the best place to teach children how to use technology because schools have secure servers meaning they can dictate what sites you can go to and what other sites you can’t.
It’s important for the kids to be able to use the internet as well. Because most of the sources you can find are on the internet. Information is a very valuable resource and the internet is the best place to get that information. On a school computer, it’ll keep kids focused and make sure they don’t go to places they’re not supposed to. Meaning they can’t get into MySpace through a school computer which is a good thing. They can’t get into the online chats where they could potentially cross paths with a sex-predator. So the school servers are closely monitored.
However, with technology in elementary schools it should be reserved for 4th-5th graders for advanced features such as the internet. However for all grade levels there are software used to help kids improve on subjects they’re having a hard time on. Meaning, if you’re a child, you’re going to have to learn to think for yourself. Computers can help but we can’t be too dependent on technology. Plus technology could make a class more fun. Yes, if you make a class fun it’ll motivate children to pay more attention to class.
Most of the classes I have substituted in, they weren’t very attentive. I had to take a very active teaching role such as helping children read, do math, solve science problems, etc. If I had the technology on hand with me back when I was still a substitute teacher, I would’ve had more resources at hand to get the students motivated. With elementary schools, it should keep children focused because that’s when students are the most hyper. Yes, elementary school kids get very hyper. This is from personal experience as a substitute teacher.
It’s extremely crucial for high school crowds because that’s when students start getting lazy. I’ve substituted in a few high school classes as well in which the students tend to sleep at their desks. They’re pretty much unfocused and unattentive and it’s going to hurt them in the long run. The sitting behind the desk listening to the teacher lecture is long dead. With the age we’re living in, we can teach children to use software and electronic hardware responsibly. At the same time keep an eye on the students as well.
For the “no” part is depending what type of technology is being placed in the schools. If it’s strictly computers for a school computer lab, then yes. Anything else, no. The right computers with the proper hardware will indeed make things better at school. But technology in general without specific uses isn’t going to help the school at all. It’s like giving students PDAs in which they don’t know how to use them let alone not needing to use them in the first place.
With computers, it’ll last a computer lab a good couple of years. If the computers are constantly getting changed, then it’s going to be expensive and very unneccessary. If the programs loaded on the computers aren’t used for educational purposes, then no. It’s 50/50 with online gaming because game making is becoming a pretty hot field to go into at the moment. Plenty of computer labs that have online gaming tournaments.
But if the kids can go onto chatrooms or log onto MySpace at school, then no, technology isn’t going to help.
It pretty much revolves around the type of hardware, the software, and their purposes. If used for the right purposes for higher learning, then yes. If used for pointless chatter and gossip, then no. If used responsibly, then elementary schools can benefit from greater technology. At the same time if technology is used responsibly then maybe the children will learn to use technology responsibly as well.