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Technology in the Classroom – Harmful or Helpful?

From touchscreens on white boards to smart tables, to iPads in the classroom, today's schools are embracing technology more and more each years in order to engage the mobile generation of students. It's a well-known fact that kids gravitate towards technology and in a world where video games and Facebook has taken over playing outside, it seems like kids should be finding it easier than ever to succeed in school. However, as more and more schools begin to embrace technology, test scores remain the same, therefore leading people to question its effectiveness.

Is It Helpful?
Commonly, educators who receive new technology must first learn how to use the equipment and then decide whether or not it supports the class curriculum. Regardless of test scores, there are still many proven benefits in incorporating technology into education – from math games that adjust the difficulty level as players progress to electronic books that talk and respond to students right at their classroom desks. These pieces of technology make for an interactive learning experience while freeing up time in the classroom so teachers can focus on spending more time on teaching.

More Benefits
According to David Vinca, founder and executive director of eSpark Learning, an education company that focuses on bringing iPads and iPods into the classroom, "After school and weekend time can become effective learning time with the right technology." Therefore, learning hours extend into the weekend and afterschool for kids who have fun while learning with these computer programs. Another benefit is that educators are able to track and assess student progress with technology. Data-driven information can be derived from many pieces of technology used in the classroom and is valuable information for teachers to revise and review and therefore adapt their curriculum according to their students' needs.
So while the test results may not show a massive difference, technology has the opportunity to completely revamp the way students learn in the classroom by engaging them correctly.