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February 10, 2018
New changes in technology have sparked debate between students and faculty on the role technology should play in the classroom..
Many believe these changes and additions greatly benefit students’ education, but others argue that the constant presence of the internet and technology can often act as a crutch. Should some elements of school remain on paper?
Seniors Patrick Boyle and Ryan Courtright both have different opinions on the topic.
“I think Algonquin has done a great job providing students with the proper resources, but I think many aspects like testing should remain on paper,” Courtright says. “If I was a teacher I would use technology on group projects and presentations, but ask students to record notes on paper and have tests and essays on paper.”
Boyle, on the other hand, appreciates the convenience and resources that technology offers.
“I bring my laptop everyday and use it is almost all my classes. If I ever forgot my laptop there is plenty of resources for me to get my work done,” Boyle said. “I definitely learn better in a class where the teacher includes more technology, the more technology the better in my opinion.”
Both students understand that everyone learns and obtains information in different ways and that a classroom setting should reflect that.
History teacher Brian Kellett believes that Algonquin has done a good job in providing resources for students.
“Every school needs to make it a necessity to provide tools for learning and Algonquin has done a good job with that,” Kellett said.
Many teachers are increasingly using chromebooks, Ipads, and other computers in class and making technology an important part of their curriculum. Students also have the ability to print for free. A significant portion of classes use online textbooks and other resources that can be accessed via smartphone.
Assistant Principal Andrew McGowan, through his experience working at Algonquin, has had a firsthand account of the changes in technology and its use in the classroom.
“Devices have gotten smaller, smarter, and much more convenient in our daily lives,” McGowan said. “Years ago when I would make my gym presentations, students would put them on a thumb drive to take home and study with.” “We are very fortunate we have so much here at Algonquin,” McGowan said.
McGowan also agrees that there can be a disadvantage to technology.
“Personal technology can become a crutch when it is always by your side,” McGowan said.
Regardless, the overarching goal, according to Kellett, is always to cater to students’ education in whatever way the faculty can.
“The ultimate goal of technology in the classroom is to increase student learning,” Kellett said. “Technology gives students a way to access tools and materials to benefit their learning and gives teachers a flexible way to approach teaching.”
While technology can pose distractions, Kellett believes that the responsibility falls on the students to make the right choice and handle themselves in a mature way.
“Students can lose focus when using technology, but they must learn how to deal with this distraction,” Kellett said.
Technology is always advancing, and teachers intend to maximize its capabilities to enhance the education process as much as they can.
“I wish I knew what was in store for the future of technology,” Kellett said. “We are surprised by new innovations everyday, so nobody knows what is to come for classroom learning.”