While doing my research for this paper, I found that most teachers or “soon-to-be” teachers aren’t all against using technology in the classroom, but that they don’t have the tools or haven’t learned how to implement technology into their lessons. I would have to agree that in my undergraduate studies I learned that technology was an integral part of the educational process, but my professors didn’t use technology themselves and didn’t teach us how to incorporate the technology in the lesson. I was shocked to find out that some research stated that teacher beliefs were the largest barrier for implementing technology. I don’t disagree that this could possibly be the case for older teachers, but if they were taught how to use the technology appropriately through professional development and training sessions, that they would change their minds and see the benefits of using technology to educate our students.
Though my paper only highlighted three specific pieces of technology to use in the math classroom, there are many other technology tools that could be implemented. I do believe that the entire class (in my case an 85 minute block) cannot be filled with technology rich activities. My issue with this use of technology every day and in every lesson is that our state assessments are still done the “old fashioned way” with paper and pencil. And that our students are still expected to sit at a desk with a calculator, pen, pencil and take an exam that lasts three hours. Though I understand that students can still learn the concepts and ideas through technology, the way the questions are asked on the exam are more challenging and needs to be practiced throughout the year leading up to the exam. I’m not saying I’m against the use of technology in the classroom, if that were the case I would be in this program. But my argument is that in order to get more teachers on board with this idea of technology in the classroom, I think the way in which we assess our students through state exams needs to change.
Research also showed that a barrier to implementing technology in the classroom was cost but that it wasn’t a large barrier. I think this is a bigger issue than most believe. I have shared my beliefs about this throughout this course, especially teaching in a city school. Many of my own students lack technology at home and cannot easily gain access to it like going to a relative’s house or going to the library. Technology is also limited within the schools and with minimal computers available, they are quickly booked and cannot be used every day by the same teachers. In an urban setting, teachers are lucky to have a Smart Board in their classroom as well. So another stance I take is that in order for technology to be used in classrooms regularly, technology needs to be readily available to all teachers and students. But like the research showed, just because the students have the technology doesn’t mean they will take advantage of it, but they need to at least have it offered.