However, the benefits of using technology in the classroom far outweigh the hiccups that may come with it. Technology allows my students to actively participate with concepts that seem one-dimensional to most. Vocabulary, grammar, text structures, character analysis, theme development, and more. Technology gives my middle school students the opportunity to interact with classically boring topics - vocabulary - by defending the Earth from falling asteroids in Quizlet’s Gravity. It allows them to monitor theme development over the course of a novel by tweeting 140-character summaries and utilizing hashtags. It allows them to assume the role of their favorite characters and create vlog (or blog) diaries. It allows them to demonstrate their knowledge of text structures by making comic strips using BitStrips or Pixton. The benefits and opportunities go on and on.
Using technology in the ELA classroom allows students to learn like never before. In an EduSurge article written by Ben Stern, the advantage of using technology in the ELA classroom is stated quite clearly. He says, “... literature is as powerful on paper as it is in E-ink. Where technology can play a powerful role, though, is by offering new opportunities for engagement with the texts, expanding a classroom beyond its walls and time slot, and encouraging students to pursue their reading and writing independently.” Technology gives students the chance to continue their learning in a more meaningful, and exciting, way than worksheets or flashcards. It takes the purpose of homework and updates it.
Stern included an important word at the end of his quotation, he used the word “independently.” Technology allows learners to interact with ELA concepts independently, outside of the classroom. What more could we want as teachers than for our students to take what we teach them, interact with it, and use it on their own. With technology in the classroom, they can!
Stern, B. (2016, July 10). Because You Asked: How Tech Can Transform English/Language Arts Class from Good to Great (EdSurge News). Retrieved March 26, 2017, from https://www.edsurge.com/news/because-you-asked-how-tech-can-transform-english-language-arts-class-from-good-to-great