By: Avery Ott ’22
Walking into a Regis Jesuit High School classroom may be a little overwhelming if you weren’t caught up on technology. Students around the classroom often have their iPads out in class doing various things. In English some students have their ebooks open. In geometry there are presentation notes open. Almost every class uses the new technology for their benefit. Technology offers many good things in education and many detrimental things.
The gap between education now and education back 46 years ago is huge. In the 1970’s a student would be aware of the technology, but they would not have it in class. In the 1980’s there was still no such thing as personal computers and devices. There would have been computer labs for students to learn various skills in. In the 2000’s Apple Mac and PC computers began to really take off. Now in 2018 transitioning into 2019 you can see students with personal cellular devices and a touch screen computer for their learning. This is the same for Regis and around the country.
“Especially a couple years ago the internet used to be much more challenging and there would be times you would have to think on your feet to find a different lesson plan, but the internet has become much more reliable in recent years,” Ms. Emily Glenn ’08, current RJ Science teacher, said.
Internet and WiFi has been pushed to improve as the technology has sped up with rapid demands from eager customers. The personal demand for electronics is the same demand that schools want. There are new SMARTboard technologies being developed along with improving computers currently in use. Technology in education can sometimes be a distraction if the use of it is abused.
“Sometimes I think it is a challenge, and again it’s a learning process of learning how to be on task and learning how to manage time efficiently because I certainly understand the desire to multi task and try and do two things at once,” Glenn said.
A students learning is in their own hands when they have their own personal device. If they are caught off task and are told to focus once more they mostly will listen. The more neuroscience research that is done, points in the direction that multitasking is not something that we are able to to. We may be able to focus on one thing for a short time and then come back, but we cannot do two things at once. With imessage sitting on the students iPad or computer the temptation is great for both adults and students.
“I know for me I have a hard time differentiating fun from work when it comes to my technology,” Ms. Mallory Champa, liturgy director and Theology teacher, said.
iPads and cell phones can be classified into two different areas. The phone is mostly seen as a play thing. Somewhere that you can text and be on games. iPad’s may be in a different group. In an area where students could see them as only somewhere to do their homework and notes, not to watch their shows and social media.
“What we found over the past couple of years is that the phone is almost never used as the appropriate technology device in the classroom. iPads at least there is structure. There is a keyboard, you have a little more functionality with the device,” Glenn said.
iPads can be used for many good things in class as well. Many teachers use it to find fun ways for kids to learn in different ways that suits them. Using other programs like Wordless, Kahoot, and quizlet give variation in the students day. Communication is also a factor that is much easier with the use of technology.
“I’ll send out a group message after class and be like, ‘Alright don’t forget about this,’ or ‘remember that’ so technology that way is very nice to have so I can communicate with you all that way,” ASC Ms. Katrina Ludwig said.
Holding people accountable for their school work and homework is easier with technology when you can communicate. Somewhere the information will most likely reach the student at a faster rate. When students turn their assignments in online as well teachers can quickly see where students are in their learning and collect data faster.