Critical Response

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The article “Technology moving teachers from front to center of the classroom” by David Raths gives a brief coverage of the ASCD 2012 Conference. The conference is an annual gathering of key players in the education sector. Educators are gathered to address significant issues that affect America’s education. Among the outstanding topics throughout the conference was the role of technology in education. David Raths premises on the impact and use of technology on K-12 education. Technological advancement has altered learning especially in the relationship between students and teachers. Students have immediate feedback and instant access to information. This has had major implications on the learning process, which traditionally comprised of books and teachers.

With the advent of technology, students mainly use the internet as their main source of information. The article also gives insight on the speeches and views by professionals in the field. Integration of technology and education is one of the major approaches instigated in the article. Computer applications and software are cited among the methodologies that can be adapted to asses a learner’s strengths and weaknesses. After assessment, the teacher is able to identify the areas that require improvement and assign the precise topics that the student should give focus. Such technological innovations are among the reasons students are advancing their knowledge to become more proficient. However, the article cautions educators not to allow students to use computers all day since they need interpersonal learning and teacher involvement.

The article is instrumental in highlighting the technological issues that are affecting the contemporary education system. The incorporation of teachers and scholars of education gives a broader perspective of educational innovation. Dramatic changes in the structure of learning have made teachers and other experts reconsider their learning, teaching and leading methods. Teachers are increasingly becoming anxious about use of computers in the learning cycle (Merrill, 2003). The broad approach of the article shows both the advantages of technology and disadvantages in the learning curve. However, the article is too rigid by showing the story of two teachers only. There were stories of other teachers that could be essential to understand how teachers are using education.

Education software is currently being offered by a variety of companies. According to Raths, the conference was filled with a variety of technology at the exhibit floor. The story of two teachers is also previewed. They used Web-based software from Study Island that aids in the assessment of students (Raths, 2012). Instead of teachers focusing on the whole class, the students are individually assessed and their weaknesses uncovered. The Study Island software focused on reading and math. Improvement in the student’s ability attests to the success of the software. Estimates show that student progress increased up to 90 percent. The school therefore rose in proficiency from 59% at the beginning of the school year in 2011 to 91 percent in May 2011.

Teachers should embrace technology in the learning process. Students sometimes require a different learning environment or method in order to understand what they are being taught (Haugen, et. al., 2009). Teachers should therefore not be threatened by technology but integrate it in teaching. However, the article does not give insight in to the general view among students who are the elementary in the process of learning. Engaging students in such forums will largely relieve teachers of the tension and opposition towards innovation. Technological involvement does not grant teachers the opportunity to allow students to use computers. Learners still require guidance and teaching at a personal level. Technology does not have a similar approach to teachers and influence on a student.

Reference

Haugen, D. M., & Musser, S. (2009). Education. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Merrill, W. L. (2003). Technology in education. Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Pub.

Raths, D. (2012). Technology moving teachers from front to center of the classroom. The journal. Retrieved from www.thejournal.com/articles/2012.

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