Technology or to be more specific, Educational Technology increases student grades by advancing student’s learning abilities. Richey (2008) explains that Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. Stratham (2012), shortly after the internet explosion of the 1990s, technology was immediately integrated into the classrooms. Technology, even though symbolizes advancement in human knowledge, was seen as a setback by many educators.
Many efforts have been established to help educators realize the benefits of technology and ways of implementing them in the classroom. This advancement created a constantly expanding gap between the student’s perception on the use of technology within the learning atmosphere, and the teacher’s perception and limitations. The computer is the main medium through which educational technology is exercised. They are being used to support goals such as but are not limited to: • Building student capacity for research Making student enquiry more realistic • Enabling students to present information in appealing forms • Offering students access to learning within and beyond the school. Richey(2008) However, educational technology is not restricted to individual computer use. It can involve other equipment and applications, such as videoconferencing, digital television (allowing students to interact with programs at their own pace), electronic whiteboards, and digital cameras (Jackson, 2008; Education Week, 2007;McCampbell, 2002; Marshall, 2002).
Each technology is likely to play a different role in students’ learning. For example, word processing and e-mail can improve communication skills; database and spreadsheet programs can enhance organizational skills; and modeling software often increases understanding of math and science concepts (Honey et al. ,2 2005). Experts have suggested that technology can enhance learning by providing students with the following opportunities (Honey et al. 2005; Gahala, 2001; Fouts, 2000; Johnston, 2000; Means, 2000): • drilling and practicing with increasingly difficult content; • accessing a wide variety of information and gaining knowledge from many sources; • visualizing difficult to understand concepts; • interacting with data, engaging in hands-on learning, and receiving feedback; and • managing information, solving problems, and producing sophisticated products using tools such as • spreadsheets, databases, and word processors. Apple Computer (2005) examined trends in students’ use of technology.
They reviewed 30 studies on educational technology programs and concluded that students used laptops primarily for writing, taking notes, completing homework assignments, organizing their work, communicating with peers and teachers, and researching topics on the Internet. They tended to use word processing software, web browsers, and email to accomplish these tasks. Those students who used their laptops to complete more complex projects were most likely to use design and multimedia tools, such as presentation software and software for making and editing digital images and movies.
A Star writer (from the Jamaica Gleaner), Taylor (2011) in her “Teachers we love” column spoke about a teacher who uses technology to create a software, to assist her students in preparing for their Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). According to the teacher the response of the students to technology is overwhelming and that data indicates it has served to improve the literacy and numeracy levels of students. Even though technology provides many benefits and opportunities as stated above the disadvantages are clear also.
It can be very time consuming, persons would have to be trained to be able to use this resource to the best of their ability, and technology is not 100% dependable therefore in the event that teachers use technology to help students there needs to be an alternative lesson ready incase it fails. Overall technology, though it has many disadvantages the advantages greatly exceed them. Which is why if used correctly technology, its positive impact should contribute to a great development in students learning.