The technological revolution resulted in large paradigm shifts across several industries, but the educational realm is one of the most rapidly changing. Across the country, many schools now provide technology to every classroom, and in some cases, to every individual student. With so many students having access to laptops, tablets, and other electronic resources, integrating digital learning into the classroom is more accessible than ever. However, is technology being used to its fullest? Or, has the money spent on obtaining these devices forced schools and teachers into over-implementing technology into the classroom? Because classrooms have only recently incorporated technology, the results will not entirely manifest for several more years. However, even in this early stage, several uses of technology in the classroom have proved superior or more useful through studies performed in classrooms.

What To Avoid
The most significant danger of technology in the classroom is over reliance. This issue presents itself most clearly in middle school reading classrooms, where accelerated reading programs are becoming more popular. These accelerated reading programs, according to educational author and lecture Alfie Kohn, are damaging students' desire to read and improve as readers. Kohn lists several reasons why this is, but for the most part, the reasoning is based on the quantification of reading and how that hurts students' intrinsic motivation. Unfortunately, the convenience, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness of such software makes it an appealing option for school districts everywhere. By extension, similar softwares pose a threat to school districts looking to simplify other teaching processes. While intentions might be good, overusing software and making it the primary teacher towards students invariably has a negative effect.

How Tech Can Be Used Best
Generally speaking, technology is better suited as a supplement to the classroom. Or, to put it another way, as an asset rather than a crutch. By combining traditional face-to-face interactions with the benefits and convenience of digital resources, educators are able to access the best of both worlds. This combined approach is known as "blended learning," and the research backs up the effectiveness of this method. In particular, blended learning allows for easier differentiation, or adaptation, for each individual student. The earlier mentioned software is the best example of this adaption, but on a less-extreme scale, blended learning allows for more open-ended approaches to different assignments. In the past, projects, whether they be essays, videos, or whatever else, were somewhat limited and destined to be completed in a linear fashion. Due to the inherently open-scope of the internet, these projects are now completable in a wide variety of ways and allow students to "play to their strengths."

A New Playground With New Toys
Schools' new emphasis on technology creates a fertile ground for software that helps teachers, students, and even parents. Along with different softwares, a number of new websites provide an additional resource to students. One in particular, The Course Hero, gives students access to resources like notes, test prep materials, and flashcards. English and literature classes are some of the most difficult for students, especially those behind in reading level, so websites like this are an enormous help when classes are assigned symbolism-heavy books like 1984 and The Lord of the Flies. For example, 1984 has themes that may allude some students. However, they can use Course Hero to find suggestions about the type of ideas the author intended to convey in his story.

Adapting is a Necessity
The only constant in technology is that it changes constantly. Because of how often new resources and methodologies are made available due to technology's rapid advancement, educators must remain steadfast in keeping track of the newest changes. By doing so, they give their students (and themselves) the best chance to succeed.

Author's Bio: 

Jeremy is an avid finance and education technology guru. He loves writing and cooking.