Ask Reading Kingdom

To what extent do you feel technology should be used in the classroom?


Modern technology offers fabulous tools that should play key roles in the classroom. Consider, for example, the teaching of reading which requires lots of slow, detailed learning. For a variety of reasons, it is not a good use of a teacher’s time to attempt to foster this learning via traditional techniques. It is far more effective and appealing to implement the teaching via a range of high tech devices. In addition, technology makes it far more feasible to individualize teaching so that it truly meets the needs of each learner. This holds true for many aspects of the curriculum including literacy, math, science, etc.

But, like all tools, the devices need to be used with care. For example, much of the content used with the new devices is a replication of the content –often poor content—that was used prior to the current age. This is the situation in reading. In large measure, the instructional content of early reading is almost identical to the phonics worksheets and books that have been used for over a century. Those materials did not teach reading effectively—and they are no more effective when placed on attractive screens that are filled with color, movement and sound.

For technology to be effective, it is vital there be a major effort to redesign curriculum content so that it 1. Takes advantage of the potential of the various devices and 2. Eliminates the blockages and weaknesses that have marked so much of the paper and pencil world of teaching. Unfortunately, this effort is rarely taking place. Until it does, technology will not be serving the role it can play in empowering children’s learning.

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