Should You Have a Tech Expert in Your Classroom?

Given technology’s increasingly dominant influence on both our personal and professional lives, there is an ongoing argument about the need for both technology and technology expertise in the classroom today. We’ll review the two different arguments, both for and against having a specific technology resource in class.

Teaching tools, including books, are becoming increasingly accessible via technology, yet there is resistance to the full adoption of technology in classrooms.

The argument for.

Schools leverage technology to varying degrees – there are no real standards yet when it comes to expectations of how a school should integrate technology, but it’s clear that some level of technology can be leveraged for great student gains. One student’s homework can very easily be customized for his level of capability, thus allowing teachers to challenge and bring out the best in every student.

Because not every teacher will be up on the trends or best understand how to maximize the technology they do have for student gain, the presence of a tech expert would be helpful to many. “Teachers don’t object to the use of technology,” said Sabrina Laine, vice president of the American Institutes for Research. “They object to being given a resource with strings attached, and without the needed support to use it effectively to improve student learning.”

Bringing in a tech expert for a school is a wise idea, to ensure that technology is being used consistently across all classrooms in the school, and to ensure that teachers get consistent instruction on how to integrate it into their teaching experience. However, it is likely unnecessary for such an expert to be in every classroom all the time.

A tech-savvy resource could also really help to inspire young minds, and get them thinking about one of the many great paying jobs in technology!

Critics of too much technology in the classroom worry about students learning important things like writing fundamentals.

The argument against.

One argument against having a tech expert in class is that younger generations tend to already be tethered to their gadgets these days; also, forcing more technology in the classroom could be a distraction from having really constructive group conversations and efforts.

In addition,as The New York Times reports, “Critics (of technology in the classroom) counter that, absent clear proof, schools are being motivated by a blind faith in technology and an overemphasis on digital skills – like using PowerPoint and multimedia tools – at the expense of math, reading and writing fundamentals.”

Some teachers are also concerned that they could be replaced by technology or that their chances for a raise will decrease because of increased spending on technology. If a tech expert were added to supplement each teacher’s own work, this could be the case. This is no reason not to integrate technology in the classroom, but it explains why there is any argument for not having a tech expert available in school.

To summarize, having a strong technology resource available at a school makes great sense – but not necessarily in every classroom. Having a resource available to think about the best and most cost-effective way to ensure that your school is weaving technology into lesson plans (but not at the expense of the lesson), and also that technology is being utilized consistently across your classrooms, can be of great value to a school.

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