Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Compatibility of Technology and Education

            In this day and age, we as a society are rather accustomed to using technology on a daily basis. But what if we are using it too much? Have we become too used to living life with and relying on advanced technology such as computers, cell phones, or even graphing calculators? Perhaps. Or, perhaps it is simply because we are misusing it.
            As educators, we must be aware of the fine line that differentiates applying technology in a suitable way in the classroom from misusing, or overusing, it. For instance, schools that have the ability of being one-to-one, where each student has their own iPad or tablet, are phenomenal; the abundance of resources as a result of being one-to-one has the potential to be beyond influential and beneficial to students’ academic lives. However, I feel as though this availability to such technology can be easily misused. Thus, we must use technology in a way that will promote, not hinder, students’ learning of mathematics.
Two weeks ago, my class was able to have a guest speaker from Texas Instruments discuss and demonstrate the various uses of a graphing calculator, more specifically, the TI-nspire CX CAS. We were then given the task of presenting a mini-lesson that could be taught with the assistance of the calculator. Until such task was assigned, I had no idea the multitude of lessons available to educators on the following website: https://education.ti.com/en/us/home. I think such activities involving technology should be used as a way to introduce a topic to let the student’s experiment, as a way of concluding a topic in the form of a summative assessment, or as a way to supplement the practice phase of a lesson (but it should not consist of all three).
            With technology becoming exceedingly advanced, it will be interesting to see how schools will continue to integrate such technology into education. Overall, technology possesses multiple advantages when applied in classroom lessons. Tablets, iPads, and graphing calculators can be an excellent addition to a lesson that can truly benefit from their applications. Students may need help obtaining a better grasp on concepts that can be otherwise difficult, as well as, staying interested in math. I believe this can be done through various forms of technology and associated activities.