A couple of years ago I was given the opportunity to begin a journey that would totally change my view of technology use in the classroom. This opportunity came when I was chosen to write curriculum around technology use in the classroom by the state of Indiana. I got to work with 25 like minded and driven teachers from around the state and haven’t looked back since. I am now, even more than before, a proponent of technology use in the classroom by every teacher in all grades. Once in awhile though, the question of “Is there such thing as too much technology in the classroom?” comes to my mind. Is there really such thing?
Trust me, too much technology in the classroom can exist. One of my presentations that I present to teachers who are beginning the journey of tech use in the classroom deals with just this issue. It is easy to get yourself entangled in the excitement of technology. There is literally an app, website, or piece of technology to address every need which a teacher might face. But be careful, too much at once can come at a cost. Technology in the classroom is just like any other delivery method in the classroom. It needs to be used as a way to increase your students’ understanding of the content and not a replacement of the content. I had a drone, Spheros, Ollies, GoPros, iPads, laptops, and every app I could want in my classroom at one time. What I found was that if I didn’t take the time to ensure that these were all enhancing my students’ understanding of our content, they were simply a toy taking precious time from my class.
I like to ask myself a few questions about the technology I use in my class to assess its effectiveness and necessity. First of all, is it getting my students excited about our content? We all know that can be an enormous first step. Next, is the technology able to deliver my content better than without it? Better delivery of content? Count me in! How about increasing student achievement? If so, it’s a no brainer. If I’m not able to say yes to each of these questions, then I may be finding a replacement. Let’s face it, there are obstacles to maneuver with technology in the class. There is time and energy, money spent, and sometimes some stress on both student and teacher. All of these are aspects that must be considered when assessing technology in the class. I would much rather master a small amount of technology in my classroom and use it to my students’ advantage than to have a lot of technology that isn’t used efficiently.
So the answer to the question, “Is there such thing as too much technology in the classroom?” is not an easy one to answer. I’ve made the mistake of biting off more than I can chew and trying to keep up with my peers with their vast knowledge and use of tech. In that case, yes there is such thing as too much. But if it is done correctly and is meeting the needs of your class and students, then I say there is no such thing as too much technology. Keep adding it when you can. Take chances that excite your students about the content of your class. And let technology lead your students to achieve more than ever!