Technology has become an integral part of our day-today life. Whether we are on a social media website catching up with friends or reading through e-mails on our smart-phones, in one capacity or another we are using more technology on a more frequent basis than in years past. Younger generations are growing up in a world where it is the norm to have a cell phone (78% of teens), likely that be a smart phone (47% of teens) by middle or high school, and in some cases, maybe even elementary school (Levinson). While students are becoming increasingly familiar with the internet, computers, and smart devices, a mismatch between the amount of technology used at home and in the classroom has become paramount. While students have reported greater ease of learning in technologically advanced classrooms, many school systems are failing their students by not providing technological enhancements that have proved successful in aiding student achievement. For many schools, this is an issue in funding; there simply is not enough money to provide each student in the school with a laptop or Ipad. This is unfortunate considering that 82% of people in a 1500+ person survey argued for more technology in the classroom. In addition, of these same survey participants, 83% of people asserted that technology is advantageous in the classroom because it allows for a "personalized learning experience" (Dunn). So then, with limited funds but a growing demand for more technology, how do teachers integrate as much technology as possible? Lepi argues one easy way to integrate more technology into the classroom is by working it into pre-exisitng lesson plans. This could mean showing more video clips to aid the content material being taught or to have students respond to a homework question or assignment using a social media website that allows them to blog in some fashion (Lepi). Social media is becoming an increasingly helpful tool to help keep not only students, but parents "in the loop" of what is going on, on a day-to-day basis. Social media is an accessible tool for parents seeing as most sites are free, easy to use, and allow for direct, fast communication. Each of the reports mentioned above suggest that technology in the classroom is a growing need to not only help classrooms remain relevant to the 21st century, but to aid and personalize student learning. Teachers need more avenues for which to implement technology in the classroom especially considering that many schools are facing financial constraints, limiting their purchase of additional technology.
An In-Depth Report on Social Media's Role in Education . . . by: Dunn
The Digital Lives of Teens . . . by: Levinson
Two Basic Ways How to Add Technology to Your Curriculum by: Katie Lepi (I found this one separate from the articles offered)