Up until I started high school, we did not have access to much technology. We had hard cover books we took to class and 2 computer labs and a library lab filled with bulky desktop computers. We mainly only used computers for research projects and making Power Point presentations, but that was about it. In high school, my school received a grant and about 10 of our classrooms received Promethean boards, interactive white boards. One of these classrooms was my Spanish classroom. All of us thought the Promethean board was so cool, we loved taking the quizzes with the individualized egg shaped Activevotes (which have now been replaced with the new technology of ActiveExpression), and enjoyed writing on the board to play games, complete activities, or simply conjugate verbs. Looking back, I can reflect on how much the level of student engagement in our Spanish classroom skyrocketed from access to this one technological tool.
Not even eight years later, the schools I have had the opportunity to work in during my service learning look completely different in terms of technology integration.Today many schools have classroom sets of i pads, chrome books, or tablets and others even have one for one technology access where each student gets a device to use during the school day and use at home as well. Schools can buy electronic versions of books so that students do not have to carry textbooks to class, teachers can use apps to provide students with more opportunities to increase procedural fluency and understanding of topics, as well as actively engage students in lessons using online tools such as Kahoot.
I think this increase in technology has come around for many reason. One reason is the growing dependence of society on technology. Our instinct now is to always be connected. We are constantly asking Google, checking Facebook, and using apps on our smart phones. With all of this technology at our fingertips, there are so many more opportunities for students to learn, while incorporating and expanding on the technology and tools that they already use on a daily basis. Another reason is affordability. With its many improvements, technology has become more affordable and accessible. School districts can now afford to provide students with more access to the beneficial technology with the aid of grants. In order to learn, students must be engaged, and to educate the next generation of learners, greater technology integration is a must.