The foremost objective of education is to make students learn. The next is to address the facilitation of learning among students, who, in their first formal educational experience are all but toddlers. How do we make them understand a concept? How do we show them that certain things happen this way or that? Or, simply, how do we make them listen?
Classroom engagement in grade schoolers is easy as long as students see variety, color, and fun in every activity. In high schoolers, a reward system, not necessarily material or financial, sometimes prove to be very effective. The problem then begins when teachers become so used to a method of teaching that it becomes very hard for them to detach and actively look for a way to bring about engagement in a classroom.
History has taught us that we cannot fault a student for not being as immersed as we want them to be in a topic. That is why the need for teachers to be more innovative and witty in one way or another is a defining characteristic of an effective educational environment.
Fortunately enough, the work of looking for a fresh, new method has been started for them at the turn of the century, when digital technology have surpassed the status of theories and emerged as a prime commodity. It has been a blessing to both struggling students and teachers in terms of convenience, efficiency, and its capacity for things only imagined before.
A two-hour writing of a ten-page lecture becomes only 20 minutes of hitting buttons on a computer and a subject presentation consequently equaled a digital projection. Seeing a graph move as you try out different calculations can stimulate the perception and understanding of students, especially those who struggle with math, and ultimately being able to appreciate the relationship between equations and their visual representation. The same goes with scientific, historic, and linguistic concepts.
This also vamps up the testing process. The presence of technological devices can do what the paper-and-pen examinations cannot. In this way, actual skills can be tested and improved the way they should be, in the absence of opportunities to test them out in the open. Another is that it gives examinations an even more engaging feel to them. With this, we are able to evaluate not only the concepts and ideas learned by the students by repetition, but as well as those they have genuinely retained throughout their learning.
Though technology boasts enough ammunition to combat lapses in education, it can also be barrier to its resulted purposes. While it lends the world to the users, particularly the teachers and students, it also is so massive that it bears a challenge after another. That is why it is crucial for its use to be regulated and controlled.
Until then, the balancing of the pros and cons of the presence and involvement of digital technology in classrooms rely on the teacher’s sound judgment.
The author is Teacher III at Pampanga High School