Does Technology Help Students Learn?

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The issue of technology and if it does help students learn is an ongoing debate.  Sources to include educators tend to agree that technology does help students learn. Others refer to computers as harmful to children which I do not agree with in reference to an educational setting.

Technology is a tool to be used by teachers but it may not fit every learning situation.  It should be used to enhance the learning process.  Students that are engaged in learning, are more motivated to learn.   

http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2009/12/can-technology-help-students-be-better-learners/

http://artgib.articlesbase.com/k-12-education-articles/improving-educational-technology-helps-students-learn-faster-and-better-293814.html

The other aspect of technology is the opportunities that it offers students with disabilities.  It provides a means to communicate using a laptop for students that have difficulty writing.  Students that cannot spell have the capability to use spellcheck to correct errors.  It places the student with disabilities on the same level as the other students which builds confidence and leads to success. 

http://www.ldonline.org/indepth/technology/

As the mother of a student with disabilities, I can tell you that when my son was finally given a laptop in high school, it was a great relief.  He could type out his assignments and read them later.  If he hand wrote them, they were not legible.  If he could not spell a word correctly, he was usually close enough to the correct spelling that the spellchecker would catch it.  Unfortunately, the laptop was heavy and some of his classes were in portable building which did not have electrical outlet available for him to charge the computer. 

I have no doubt that technology helps students to learn.  As a student myself, I know that it has helped me as I have gone to school throughout the years. Technology has a place in the learning process.  The issue is for teachers, instructors, and facilitators to ensure that it is used properly to enhance the learning of the student and be appropriate for all types of learners.  My take from this is that the focus always has to be the student and if technology is the best means to deliver the information to be learned, then use it.

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