Introduction of technology in the classroom will change the way of teaching and learning. It will be integrated in the teaching program thereby enhancing communication between teachers and students as well as between the students themselves. The content of the curriculum should be examined beforehand to determine which technology is compatible with different areas of the curriculum.
There are various ways in which technology can be used to facilitate and enhance instruction in the classroom. Use of LCD projectors during lessons where students are required to view images will enhance instruction by ensuring they can all view the items at a larger scale. This will encourage an interactive learning atmosphere where the students can ask questions, and which also makes it easier for the teacher to explain. The teacher can use pointers to pinpoint specific details on the content projected. Email will be used by students for communication with the teacher on content that has been taught in class. This will enhance instruction by allowing students to ask for clarification on topics they have not understood from the teacher. It also enables the teacher to provide additional materials to such students (Taylor, 2000). The emails can also be used to submit assignments to the teachers on time.
Another way in which technology can be used to enhance instruction is through the use of digital cameras for assignments that require one to monitor changes in an experiment such as monitoring a growing plant (Tiene & Luft, 2001). Students are able to better record the changes and observations, and it is easier for a teacher to make assessments. Students will also use the Internet in research of topics that have been taught in class. This enhances instruction by enabling the students to have materials for further reading that will enhance their understanding of what they have been taught.
Word processing programs such as MS Word should be used in class for assignments. Apart from that, skills acquired in word processing are important for use by the students in future, especially in their careers. MS PowerPoint will be used by students for oral presentations (Tiene & Luft, 2001). This will make the presentations more interactive between the students presenting and those listening. It also allows the students to develop presentation skills. A teacher will also be able to gauge students’ work during the presentation thus making it easier to detect whether they have carried out the work as required.
The use of technology to facilitate learning can have both positive and negative effects. Some of the advantages include giving the students access to diverse and numerous sources of materials for research on topics taught in school (Grove, Strudler & Odell, 2004). This will enable the students to understand the topics more and enrich their learning experience. It also helps the students to learn how to conduct researches and issues related to it such as plagiarism (Norris, Smolka & Soloway, 2000). Another advantage is that the teacher is able to make some of the abstract content in the topics more understandable and visible to the students. For example, this can be done through use of the LCD projectors to make the images more real and visible to the students hence enhancing understanding. Integrating technology also makes communication more efficient and convenient. An example is the use of email in communication between the students and the teachers about schoolwork. It also encourages students to become more independent in their studies as they are able to get more materials on their own. Thereby, it enables them to understand more of what they are learning (Taylor, 2000).
However, the use of technology in classroom also has some disadvantages. One of them is that some students may not have the skills necessary to use the available technology such as computers and the word processing programs. This causes a problem as the student may lag behind in their studies due to lack of understanding. The teacher has to put much effort to ensure that all the students are equally working during the lessons. Technology use in class may also make it difficult to maintain the students’ attention during the lesson and classroom management in general. The students may become engaged in the use of the technology more that in the lesson that is being taught. Another disadvantage is that teachers and students have to be trained to make them more equipped to handle and use the new technology (Grove, Strudler & Odell, 2004). This makes the whole process very expensive and time consuming for the school.
In integrating technology within the classroom, there are both wired and wireless environments. Wireless classrooms are equipped with laptops which are connected to a wireless network link that enable the students to use them to perform classwork activities and during lessons. Wireless classrooms are more mobile as the students can move around with the laptops and are more convenient to use when studying in groups. They also require less the use of infrastructure such as cables compared to wired classrooms. Wired classrooms are those where the classes are equipped with desktop computers which are connected with cables for networking. They limit portability of the students with the machines and also require a lot of cables and links to set up (Pelgrum, 2001). Wireless technology makes instructions easier as the students can move to where they need to be without any problem.