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Is Technology the Answer for Better Learning?


Children learning together

What is the answer for students who struggle with attention and comprehension in the classroom? In an age where children turn to the Internet for answers, is incorporating state-of-the-art technology into classrooms the answer to get students to pay attention and learn best?

Studies in Alberta suggest the answer is no. While many students might love to see their favourite technological gadgets and sites used in the classroom, the majority of students say that technology is not how they learn best, and is not the only answer to making classrooms better learning environments.

An Alberta initiative called Speak Out asked students to share their thoughts on education, and the results may be surprising:

  • Students report that having teachers who provide more time to help them, smaller class sizes, more learning outside the classroom, hands-on experiments, and working at their own pace all rank higher than technology as ways to increase and improve their learning
  • Only 3% of students ranked up-to-date technology as the primary way they learn at their best
  • Only 4% of students said classroom upgrades, better computers, textbooks and equipment, would be the best way to improve their education.

Studies throughout the province of Alberta suggest that although students are technologically savvy when it comes to communication, they often don’t know how to use technology effectively to learn. Also, in over 50% of the classrooms researchers visited that were using technology to learn (Smart Boards, computers, Skype, for example), students exhibited the same levels of disengagement as in classrooms using no technology.

So what’s the solution? It seems that technology alone is not the answer to creating more engaged and successful students. To read what other solutions there may be to keep your child engaged and learning in the classroom, click here.

To read the entire article on technology in the classroom from the Calgary Herald, click here.

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