According to reports from a recent study, emerging technology has a positive impact in classrooms. Stacey Roshan, a calculus teacher in Bullis School, used to find it difficult to keep her students engaged as she taught them the difficult math curriculum. For the last three previous years, Roshan says that her students found the traditional-classroom lectures very difficult and they often left the class with a lot of questions rather than answers.
However, Roshan decided to come up with a solution and this involved using the best technology. She made radical changes which included implementing new lesson plans. By using the Camtasia Studio, a video-editing program with screen recording, Roshan was able to upload all the lectures on iTunes and assigning them to her students as homework.
Camtasia Studio is the best technology that Roshan has used to teach her students. Using video lectures, her students in year 2010-2011 were able to attain an average score of 4.11 in AP Calculus compared to the previous average score of 3.59 when students were being lectured using the traditional-classroom setting. Also compared to the previous year, one-third of the class attained a score of 5 in AP test, a ten percent increase compared to the previous year.
The Camtasia Studio is currently the best technology that is used to deliver lectures and most teachers and instructors are now using it. Reports from the IT Opportunities in the Education Market indicate that about 78 percent of the K-12 administrators and teachers believe that technology has significantly improved students’ productivity. Also, more than 65 percent of the educators who were surveyed believe that current students are more productive than they were 3 years ago because of the increased dependence on technology in classrooms.
Jim Tracy, Cushing Academy’s headmaster, said that the process of technology being used in classrooms is now inevitable. Under the leadership of Tracy, Cushing Academy has Wi-Fi connection throughout the campus and lectures are delivered using interactive whiteboards. The academy is also implementing a fully digital library to ensure that the students have access to the best technology utilities.
School systems with large budgets have more freedom as well as flexibility when it comes to purchasing new tools and getting the best technology to use in classrooms. Research reports by the CompTIA indicate that almost 27 percent of the K-12 educators think that obstacle like constraints in the budget may make the adoption of new technological tools difficult.
Tracy notes that while Cushing Academy has the luxury of a bigger budget, its goal is to provide the students in public schools with the best technology. According to Talha Basit, a client computer-service manager at the CPS, public district schools always have issues with budgets. And although there are 675 schools with more than 400, 000 students, there are only 5,000 iPads and 100,000 computers which are available for students to use.
Note that CPS made iPads which were availed through grant processes. Teachers applied for the technology and they had to elaborate on how the tool was going to be used during lesson plans. Using the Absolute Management MDM program, Basit tracked down and oversaw how tablets were used during the school year. He continues to note that there is a jury that has been mandated to test out the score on improvements although schools have experienced significant improvements in terms of attendance.
While there are many educators who have expressed how the classroom experience has changed because of technology, there are others who are still resistant to use it. Studies by CompTIA indicate that about 17 percent of the respondents noted that buying new technological tools offers both instructors and students little benefit. Cushing Academy’s headmaster believes that those educators who are not in support of technology use in classrooms are only fighting an already lost battle.
Kristen House, Belmont University’s former instructor and the founder of the “A Novel Idea” believes that schools with limited budgets should simply focus on training teachers. While House acknowledges the use of Tablets and Smart Phones to help students to communicate and carry out research, she says that the best technology is only good if the teachers are also using it.
While the implementation of technology is currently a popular topic in most high schools, Roshan wants to introduce iPads in her new AP Calculus class during the next school year but she suggests that teachers should stick to what makes them comfortable.