Technology has observed a recent widespread integration into daily life, where access to vast amounts of information is now available with ease. Information Technology plays a larger role in student learning. Today’s generation of students has grown up with technology all around them in an ever-increasing manner. Identifying the effectiveness of using technology in the classroom has usually been an assumed position. There are increasing numbers of studies on the positive effects of Information technologies aided teaching and learning on the results and achievements of students.
The focus of this article is to determine if the technology integration being used in learning as a positive motivational tool. The driving question behind the research project is: “How does technology impact student motivation in the classroom?” While teachers can get positive feedback from students about how they “had fun” with a particular lesson, little experiential evidence has been gather to point towards an increase in motivation for learning while using technology based instruction. Teachers can be inspired and supported by both building principals and the district guardian to merge technology into existing lessons and newly designed lessons.
Expectations to integrate technology into daily teaching practices continues to be an ongoing district focus. However, using technology for the sake of technology is not the purpose or expectation. Instead, technology integration is predicated on the belief that technology can enhance learning for students.
As mentioned exactly, our world is becoming more and more high-tech. Students today from all walks of life are quite computer-savvy. Why not attack the information age head on and motivate the students with the media with which they are so familiar?
Technology suggests many benefits to enhance education. Most importantly, technology integration has the potential to increase student motivation. Technology entitles students by engaging students in the learning process. The nature of the task shifts from teacher centered to student centered. Given the flexibility of technology to differ tasks, the activity is designed to build upon students’ prior knowledge and to address student interests. Research indicates that challenging and engaging academic tasks that build upon students’ prior knowledge and enable students to construct their own understanding of the content are more apt to enhance student motivation and increase student self-confidence in their cognitive abilities (Brophy, 1983; Meece, 1991; Miller & Meece, 1999).
Additionally, the use of technology improves student interest due to students’ familiarity with the technology. Increased enjoyment in learning is related to students’ natural affinity for computer-based instruction; consequently, lesson can become a more attractive subject when computers and the Internet are included as teaching tools.
In terms of the type of tools that can be used to produce a change in the motivation of students an important balance needs to be achieved between the scope of the tool to provide multiple avenues of interest for the student such as animation, use of text/video/image/sound, interaction with the internet, access to multiple layers and flexible sequencing, and the its availability and ease of use. While software programs such as Adobe Flash and Photoshop provide a great depth and scope in terms of what can be achieved they are largely unavailable to students in educational establishments due to their price and hardware requirements. They are also difficult to use with students and teachers who have a different competence in the use of multimedia software.
As interactive whiteboards become increasingly available ability for teachers to demonstrate and interact with technology tools in the classroom will increase the speed at which new skills are learned and increase the sophistication of the multimedia products created by students in response to their set tasks.
In technology rich classroom environments has suggested that students who learn through technology are more engaged and invested in their learning. Technology generates an environment that supports synergy, collaboration, and dynamic, hands on learning. Compared to classrooms where traditional instructional methods were used, technology rich classrooms supported student sharing and developed an awareness of self-motivated learning.
Educational establishments who have integrated 1:1 laptop initiatives have also experienced the benefits of increased student learning motivation through technology integration.
All students (from elementary through high school) need greater exposure to information technologies in the classroom, but many schools may not be meeting this need. Many students are found to have the capability to use technology, as well as the access to do so at home, and many of those utilize it for educational purposes. There is an inconsistency regarding how much technology is actually used for instruction. The variation in student and teacher use in the different classes is directly related to the culture for technology integration.
It is important for the future generation of teachers to learn how to teach in a manner that will best reach their students. Teacher training begins at the collegiate level. The number of colleges and universities using electronic learning (or e-learning) has been increasing, though there is a gap in the research pertaining to student adaptability. Infrequent technology users were found to have difficulty in implementing technology for teaching, while frequent technology users felt accomplished in creating a technology supported environment.
Information technology has become common place in the classroom, helping to elevate and replace outdated pedagogical techniques and offering teachers the ability to design curriculum in advance with regards to differentiation. Even with regards to the amount and use of specific technology in the classroom, and even though some technology may not have originally been designed to align with educational goals, many teachers still find ways to integrate technology into the classroom.
It can be concluded that technology has the potential to be a powerful educational tool for those that have interest in it. For students with no interest in using technology, they will still benefit educationally from traditional methods. Assigning a computer based project haphazardly to a group of students will not necessarily generate high test scores. There needs to be interest and motivation with using technology in the first place for students to succeed.
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