Classroom teachers are using technology in the classroom more frequently than ever before. Students who are exposed to a high volume of technology perform as well as expected on standardized test, however technology can potentially do students a disservice if used inappropriately. When teaching using technology, instructors must be aware of the potential hindrances technology can bring to the learning process. Some negative effects of technology in today’s classroom are that it can take away valuable learning time, it can be overused, and it can also turn educational experiences into games for students who may miss the point of the lesson.
Lost Learning Time
In today’s classroom, teachers are pressed to make every minute count. If the teacher and students are not experienced with technology in the classroom, valuable time is often wasted on technical troubles. In addition, the teacher faces the difficulty of having a class full of students who are all at different skill levels. In many schools, most students will have a computer and Internet access, but schools that are located in impoverished areas may have a large portion of their student body with little to no computer experience. While it is important to educate these children in technology, it must be done at a pace that meets every individual’s needs or more learning time will be wasted.
Overuse and Distraction
In some classrooms technology is overused. This can lead to a variety of problems. Many students learn best by physically and mentally interacting with what they are studying. Computers cannot substitute for hands on experience with art supplies, science equipment or musical instruments. If most of the teaching is done with computer images or PowerPoint lectures, students’ needs are not being met. Technology should be used to supplement the classroom curriculum, but should not be used as the sole source of learning. Further, students can become overly impressed with the sophistication of new technology and not pay attention to the information being communicated with splashy visuals and sound effects.
One problem that many classroom teachers face is that students often use computers primarily for games. Because of this, many students associate computers and technology with game playing. Though some teachers can use this to their advantage, if this issue is not addressed, some students may get distracted and off task easily. Because students associate computers with game playing, they may try their skills at hacking, without thinking through the consequences. Surfing the internet just for can result in children finding sites that are not age appropriate.