Technology is something that is made in order to make life easier or more enjoyable. Technology ranges from things such as smartphones, computers, and cars. No one wants to hand-write letters or walk everywhere by foot unless they have to. Technology is a beautiful thing. Computers help make us more efficient so we can have more free time. Rollo May says that “Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. Creativity requires passion and commitment. It brings to our awareness what was previsouly hidden and points to new life” (creativityatwork.com1). The invention of youtube and cameras lets artists such as dancers, painters, photographers, and videographers showcase their creativity.
Today’s classrooms have things such as high-tech projectors and smartboards that can do things like erase writing on the board with a touch of a button, show PowerPoint presentations, and even show videos with the projector. Physical books can also be replaced with digital copies on e-books or online textbooks on computers. The new digital platform that e-books are on has authors “incorporating audio, video, and text-to-speech capabilities as their information delivery strategy” (Hyman, Moser, Segala 36). Why have a physical book when you can have something as high-tech as that? Why carry around 3 textbooks, when you can just carry your laptop or digital copies of all 3 on an e-book?
Kids using technology in the classroom.
The above chart shows the percentage of 8th grade students in Hawaii who passed a math proficiency exam from 2007 to 2009. There was a change of 6% for students who were at or above basic proficiency, a change of 4% by those who were proficient, and a change of 1% in those who passed with advanced proficiency (United States Education Dashboard 1).
This chart represents the percentage by race of 8th Graders in California who are at or above proficiency level in a standard math exam from 2007 (blue) to 2009 (orange). From 2007-2009 the only changes were that the Hispanic percentage changed by 1% and that the Native American/ Alaskan Native percentage did not meet the reporting standards (United States Education Dashboard 1). Both charts show increases in percentages from 2007 to 2009, which could reflect technological advancements during that time period.
What is the Future for Libraries?
Since physical books can be replaced, what will happen to libraries? Pew Research Center conducted a poll to find out what American citizens thought about libraries in today’s society. According to the data that they compiled, most Americans want libraries to: “support local education”, “serve special constituents such as veteran, active duty military personnel and immigrants”, “help local businesses, job seekers and those upgrading their work skills”, and “embrace new technologies such as 3-D printers and provide services to help patrons learn about high-tech gadgetry” (Horrigan 1). Even though library usage has gone down over the past several year due to advances in technology, libraries are keeping up by integrating technology of their own.
The Fusion of Technology and Creativity
Technology and creativity are two things that can compliment each other as long as technology can be properly implemented. Digital mediums that can showcase and artist’s creativity can range “From Google to Facebook, from cloud computing to YouTube channels” (Henriksen, Mishra, Fisser 27). YouTube is like the perfect blend of creativity and technology. Henriksen, Mishra, and Fisser believe that in order to successully implement technology in classrooms, teachers must be able to capture and hold students’ attention in a creative way.
Technology can help benefit students in many ways, including increased efficiency in intercultural learning. Learning about other cultures is very important in today’s world. This is how other countries do business with each other. Apps such as Skype allows for communication between people all over the world. This can make things such as online classes possible. Finding creative ways to teach students about other cultures with technology can possibly make learning enjoyable. Making learning enjoyable may make it easier for the student to learn and retain the information better. Ciftci mentions that technology brings advantages to intercultural learning such as “flexibility and in-depth-exchanges” (Ciftci 320). In-depth-exchanges can be seen with online classes with few students per instructor which can make things efficient for both the instructor and students.
At this point, it’s obvious that technology has the potential to affect learning in a positive manner. The problem is integrating technology into the classroom. A study shows that “The strongest barrier to technology integration was a lack of available computers/hardware, followed by factors relating to the time required to develop and implement lesson plans that incorporate technology” (Pittan, Gaines 1). These are difficult barriers to break through because more money would be required for implementation. Another recommendation by Pittman and gaines was to professionally develop teachers to integrate technology into classrooms to help with the lesson plan development problem. Another barrier to successful integration of technology is “bridging the gap between these informal learning experiences with expected outcomes of formal learning as required by educational institutions” (Voogt, Knezek 2). This means that integration will be inefficient while teachers are transitioning, which can lead to underperformance. Finally, integration of technology will be beneficial if there was an efficient way to transition technology into the classroom. This may be a possibility in the future, but as of right now teachers would need to be trained at workshops and new technologies would need to be bought.