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When I was in elementary school and growing up, technology wasn’t that popular in the classroom. We would have a projector overhead which would just show words or phrases bigger for the entire class to read at the same time. But other than that, the teacher would have a computer and that’s it. Technology has made an impact with education starting at the younger grades and advancing through college. The problem that I want to introduce is how to use this technology that we have been given to further the education and the young minds in the elementary school systems.

There are many pros for having technology in the classrooms of younger generations such as technology allows your class to have instant access to information that can supplement their learning experience. When you are teaching a lesson or need an example of specific content you’re teaching, kids are able to look that specific information up online and able to say the answer or share what they have found online to the class allowing interaction between the kids. So instead of raising your hand for answering the question, they can show the teacher and the class more about the specific topic. Students will also be able to learn life skills through technology such as looking something up online to find more information about that topic or watch “how to” videos on certain topics. Students will able be able to create presentations, learn to differentiate reliable form unreliable sources on the internet, maintain proper online etiquette, and able to learn how to communicate online. These are all vital skills young students will be able to learn with the help on technology in their classrooms.

Why do we need technology in elementary schools? Well according to an infographic published by Everyday Family, 54% of 21st century kids start using mobile devices when they are 5 to 8 years old. 30% of the apps on parents’ mobile are downloaded specially for their children’s usage. 77% of the parents accept that usage of tablet increases children’s learning & creativity. 72% of iTunes top selling apps are designed for preschoolers and elementary students. Why is this information important? This shows that kids right now are able to access technology at home and are encouraged to use it. So why not in the schools that they are learning at? Giving this opportunity for kids will give them a sense of a familiar environment and will be more inclined to branch out and explore the ways to achieve with the help of technology devices.

Educators find the use of technological devices in education a great way to engage students because it attracts them. Mobile devices and computers provide students with a fun learning environment and will also give them something to tell the parents what they learned after school. Different students have different learning styles and technology helps them learn in the way they’re comfortable with. Many games, storytelling apps, online tools, and many more allow these kids to explore what works best for them and allow students to be more engaged than with the traditional approaches. Students can literally learn from anywhere with the use of iPads, tablets, and computers. These allow for a personalized learning environment and also helps them learn lesson concepts through animations, presentations, and countless other ways rather learning from a textbook and blackboards.

Technology in classrooms brings better engagement and motivation to the environment. Kids come to school and instead of opening a textbook and reading from that, which is what I remember from my school days, kids will be able to read along on a tablet or another device, and not just read, but able to watch videos, enlarge pictures, find more information on the topic, and even save the information to resume reading for another day. The kids will also be able to take their school work home with them, and by this I mean they will be able to show their parents what they learned on a new device and even impress their parents as to what they learned. The parent would also feel a sense of pride knowing that their kids are learning something important and the parents would be able to even follow along and help/teach their kids on the certain type of technology if they had any questions. Creating that atmosphere at school and at home would be a great benefit for not just the parent or teacher but for the kids because they will build relationships with both the teachers and parent.

Another reason using technology on a daily basis benefits students is the state assessments students have to complete are all online. Assessments such as PARCC or ISAT are difficult for students that do not have any background experience on a computer or using technology. The students are at a disadvantage because they are not able to show the information they know due to a lack of understanding how to use the tools used to administer the test. The state of Illinois has all their standardized tests on a piece of technology, but they do not require any sort of computers or technology curriculum for teachers to teach their students. Students are coming into these high stakes assessments with no understanding of how to work a computer, nor how to type on one. If they cannot type, than they cannot show the information they have learned within the time limit given. Having technology readily available and accessible in the classroom gives students a huge advantage when it comes to understanding how to use technology efficiently and accurately. Students can not only be learning content specific information, but they can also practice how to work a computer, how to type more efficiently, and how to read various forms of texts online. This gives students a heads up when having to use the technological tools for standardized tests. That way, they are able to most accurately show the information they know. Technology in the class provides students with a “leg up” to best understand how to work through a standardized test, as well as gives them experience they can use later in life.

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