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Firaas Khan
Mrs. Funk
Inquiry Skills
April 16, 2014
First Draft
Its been approximately twenty-two years since IBM produced, in modern terms, the first
ever Smartphone. Simon, as it was known, had a touch screen and a range of useful features.
Priced at $899.00, Simon was far from inexpensive. From that day, technology has been rapidly
evolving and becoming more a part of our daily lives. We have begun to utilize technology for
productive purposes in their workplaces and homes. If thats the case, why is technology not
being integrated in schools? Technological devices should be used to enhance the curriculum taught in
schools because they are popular among students, contain useful utilities, they keep students engaged in
the classroom, and allow for them to learn on a global level.
To begin, technological devices are used vastly among the youth today. According to a
new Nielsen study, 70% of teens between the age 13-17 now own a Smartphone. This number
represents a large portion of students throughout the country. Schools should take advantage of
this piece of hardware which would save lots of money rather than paying for textbooks.
According to the same study, 34% of students with a Smartphone also own a tablet. Tablets are
very useful in the way that they are larger and easier to read. With these two numbers combined,
nearly every other teenager can be found with one or the other of these devices. This type of
popularity for such a device is unique and should be taken advantage of. If every person has one
why not? The Untied States should be the first to do such a thing and make an impact in our
societies today. In fact, schools could save enough to supply devices of their own which would
be a smart investment.
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In addition to it being widely used among the youth, Smartphones and tablets also
contain many useful tools that could help students learn more efficiently. One greatly used
resource is the Internet. According to The Pew Research Internet Project, approximately 95% of
teenagers are online. This shows that teenagers are well adapted to using the internet with ease
and the great majority of teenagers enjoy being on the internet. The internet opens up to a world
of information. Anything from encyclopedias, virtual libraries, and more can be accessed by
students on the internet. These tools can be very useful in saving time, money, and the difficulty
of having to physically look up information in books. Also, there are many additional
applications that can enhance the learning experience. For example, there are E-Readers that
allow for the storage of books. With the touch of a button students would be able to access books
in seconds. An E-Reader can hold hundreds of books so students would not have to go through
the difficulty of lugging around books. Some other useful applications would involve ones like
Edsby, Edmodo, and Schoology. These applications let students access their grades and interact
with their teachers through in online interface so they will always be on the same page.
Technology would also keep students productive and engaged in the activities occurring
in the classroom. According to an article from the U.S News website entitled, Study: Emerging
Technology Has Positive Impact in Classroom, the author Ryan Lytle writes about an AP
teacher at Bullis School named Stacey Roshan. To meet the needs of her students, Roshan made
radical changes to her lesson plans. Using Camtasia Studio, a screen recording and video editing
program, Roshan uploaded her lectures to iTunes and assigned them as homework. "We've kind
of reversed the whole dynamic of the class," she says. "Instead of lecturing in class, I lecture to
them when they're at home, and we work problems together. Roshan's students in the 2010-11
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school year scored an average of 4.11 on the AP calculus test, compared to the 3.59 average
among her students who took the test the year before. And a third of the class scored a 5 the
highest grade one can get on an AP exam. This was a 10% increase from the year before. This
situation is an example of using the technology called Groupware. Software used by an
organizational group to collaborate and share. It allows the collection, organization, and retrieval
of instructional information. Can make calendar, notes, share folders, etc. on this portal and can
access them from anywhere. Another form of technology that has been proven to increase
productivity in a classroom is known as Audience Response Systems (ARS) technology. In
simple terms this is known as clickers or zappers. They are very simple devices used in college
classrooms across the country. They are such clever machines because they can be adapted to
any subject and have proved to increase scores on tests. According to a Jerry White, a professor
at the University of Pennsylvania, clickers helped increase scores in his classes by a full 20%.
Audience Response Systems Technology was created for the ease of grading by teachers
because they could be grading hundreds of students every day. With the implementation of such
a simple device in our classrooms, theyre have been significant increases in GPAs. Clickers
typically have either a positive effect on student performance on exams and create an active
atmosphere in a large classroom according to a study conducted by Jane E. Caldwell at the West
Virginia University.
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By integrating technology in classrooms it could open up to a global learning experience.
Things like web chats could allow for face to face interaction with anyone across the world
without having to leave the classroom. Another amazing addition to the technical world is a new
program known as Panaromas.dk. this application allows for students to experience world
monuments across the world with the ease of just opening the computer. It is a life like 3D
animation of nearly every monument across the world. Some schools have even began
participating in a program called Classroom Connections. According to Sophie, a participator
under the organization, This project has already allowed students in Bertoua to be curious, build
self-confidence, and have an open mind. They have expressed a willingness to explore the world.
It has been a great opportunity to be part of a social network of friends, and has helped students
develop digital communication skills (like Internet comprehension, digital photography, online
communications, and improvement of language skills). Children seem more attracted to the
school because of these types of self-confidence development activities. One of the activities the
students are involved in is a digital photography exchange, or PhotoVoice. Through our
photography activities, peers in both schools use photos to talk about their daily activities,
introduce their families, and share about friends, their community, and their city. Students gained
a sense of responsibility and a spirit of community involvement through story sharing. They have
a willingness to be a part of a global village by opening the doors of their families and their city
to the world. In other activities, we anticipate that students will embody a global awareness that
will result in positive change within their communities. Because of Classroom Connections,
students have also shown interest in future vocations, like photographers, reporters/journalists, or
community leaders. Each hopes to communicate and create change through photos. The students
are very excited and feel privileged about the opportunities they have through this program and
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Opportunity Africa. In addition to these awesome programs, there is also something known as
social networking. The beauty of social networking is that students can talk to nearly anyone
around the world and interact with them on a personal basis. According to a study conducted by
the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 81% of teenagers between the ages of 12-17 are
involved in social media. This proves that teenagers are very familiar with the use of such social
networking sites. With this type of comfort, by integrating this into classrooms would be easy
and would allow for teenagers to be involved in the class. Technology would give students an
open mind to the ways of foreign countries.
In conclusion technology can help significantly improve the learning experience and the
productivity of the students. Technological devices such as smart phones and tablets should be
integrated in the curriculum taught in schools because they are widely used among the youth,
they contain useful utilities; they keep students engaged and productive in the classroom, and
allow for them to learn on a global level. By doing this students can have a world full of up to
date and well educated people who have very open minds