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Trend of Technology in the Classroom

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The current trend of technology in the classroom can be traced back to the early1900s when schools and museums, as a complement to verbal instruction, began to use visuals aids including drawings, paintings, and slides. In the 1920s, as film became widely used, The National Academy of Visual Instruction was formed to help distinguish between films that were for entertainment or educational value. As technology progressed and the television was introduced, the educational system began to use instructional television. During the 1970s and 1980s the biggest influence in the classroom, to date, came in the form of computers. As the 1990s progressed, computers and multimedia equipment continued to become more affordable and they began to be used across the world. The trend of technology in the classroom currently consists of multiple categories including Multimedia, Internet and Networking, Computer-assisted instruction (CAI), Computer-managed instruction (CMI), and teacher training. As the current trend of technology in the classroom continues to be centered on the inclusion of computers and other mediums, it only awaits to incorporate the next big step in technology.

The Ever-changing Technology Trend

The abacus, the slate, the red pad of paper, it is amazing to view the ever-changing technology in education today. As a society, not only has our language and communication developed, but the way that language and communication are expressed has changed drastically. In Mathematics an abacus was used to solve problems, now a student can program a graphing calculator to solve problems for them. Some schools allow children to bring laptops into class with them, in other schools it is mandatory that all students have a laptop to bring to school. From having no computers in the classroom to having dozens of computers in the classroom has been an evolution of the educational system. Technology in the educational system consists of many mediums, and the history to the current educational system is quite fascinating. What remains to be seen is how the ever-changing, ever-evolving technology will impact the schools today, and how technology will affect our schools in the future.

The view of a teacher as the possessor and transferor of information is shifting to a new paradigm in which the teacher is now a facilitator or a coach. These new teachers provide appropriate learning environments that engage students in collaborative activities that require communications and access to information that only technology can provide.

Technology engages students, and as a result they spend more quality time on basic learning tasks than students who use a more traditional approach. Students who have the opportunity to use technology to acquire and organize information show a higher level of comprehension and a greater likelihood of using what they learn later in their lives (Impact, 2005). The integration of technology into the curriculum has been shown to decrease absenteeism, lower dropout rates, and motivate more students to continue on to college.

This current trend of technology in the classroom consists of multiple categories including multimedia, Internet and networking, computer-assisted instruction (CAI), computer-managed instruction (CMI), and teacher training:


Interactive multimedia combines text, graphics, sound, animation, and video into a single learning environment. The hardware of multimedia can include: Macintosh computers, audio digitizers, CD ROM players, graphic scanners, and videodisc players. Since information is presented in visual and verbal modalities, individual learning styles of students are easily accommodated. It is not only a presentation tool for the teacher, becoming the basis for classroom lectures, discussions, and simulations, but it is also a reporting and reference tool for students in preparing class assignments.

Example of use: There is an ongoing multimedia project that is part of the seventh grade science curriculum at the Baker Demonstration School at National-Louis University. Students choose a mammal to study at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL. They then spend several sessions at the zoo observing this mammal's physical characteristics, behavior, locomotion, and its zoo habitat. These observations become the raw data for constructing a multimedia presentation about their mammal.

Internet and Networking

There is a clear direction towards using the Internet to open education to students everywhere. The use of the Internet ranges from making course materials available on-line, to using the Internet as the communication tool for the course. With the vast capabilities of the Internet, computers are being networked for

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