Use of Technology in Classroom Learning
The integration of technology in classroom learning is very important. This is because it facilitates the process of learning. One of the areas in which technology is important in the classroom is in student assessment. Student assessment is very essential because it helps the teacher to know how well the students have understood what they have been taught and thus help in making the necessary improvements. This then helps in the improvement of the educational quality. Further, it is through carrying out assessments that the teacher is able to interact closely with their students.
When integrated in student assessment, technology helps to improve these assessments. For instance, it makes the process faster since it reduces the use of papers which may be tedious to work with. In addition to being faster, unless on cases of personal errors or malicious damage, it is not possible for the students work to get lost. Further, even if deleted from the computer, the information can be retrieved unlike where papers are used. In the use of papers, they can get lost or destructed and this means that this information can not be retrieved. By use of technology, a lot of practicality is put in place. For example, there are courses which will require students to be well versant with technology. In computer science for example, students will need to carry out practical lessons using computers.
Technology will thus make this learning better than in cases where students will be required to learn theoretically or use paper and pen. By use of technology, specific areas of learning will be tackled. This enables the learner to be prepared for the future. This is because technology is becoming part of every days life. Use of technology will also enable the learner to get involved in learning of complex things and thus improve the skills of making decisions and reasoning widely (Spurlin, 2006).
In students assessments, two methods of assessment can be used. The methods are summative assessments and formative assessments. Summative assessments are assessments that are carried out after a certain period of time that is also specified. For example, summative assessments can be carried out after an academic semester or term or even on completion of the learning course. Similar to the summative assessments are the formative assessments. However, formative assessments are done on a continuous basis. Therefore, they enable the teacher to get the continuous and immediate feedback on their students learning. Therefore, summative assessments are long term assessments. These means that they are used in evaluating how well the long term learning goals have been achieved.
On the other hand, formative assessments assess the short term and continuous goals. Technology can thus be used to facilitate these kinds of assessments. According to Young (2002), the integration of technology in assessment can be done by use of electronic portfolios. These portfolios give a higher self awareness and engagement level and thus make the students understanding even better. Electronic portfolios will enable students to collect and organize information in various types of media. Therefore, other than facilitating their learning they also make the whole process of assessment easier.
Use of technology in assessing students learning has both advantages and disadvantages. Because of the increased need to have education and a quality education, many people are attending institutions of learning. This is also because of the change in the world which needs people to be educated so as to fit in the world and especially in the job market. Therefore, without the use of technology, assessment becomes difficult because of these rising numbers. Further, technology is making the process of learning easier. For instance there is the e-learning which is done far from the classroom. With e-learning, the students are also assessed by use of technology and thus the need to have technology in learning.
Assessment also involves giving feedbacks. Therefore, with technology, it is easier for the teacher to communicate with the students, and make corrections within a short time. In addition to communicating to the students, the teacher also communicates to the parents and guardians and gives them the feedbacks on their childrens performance and this does not create the need to call them to school. Since the world is advancing fast in terms of technology, students also get the skills that are very essential for use in their places of work (Ferdig, 2006). One of the disadvantages of technology in student assessment is the need for a lot of resources. Some schools may have limited resources and thus becomes challenging for them to effectively integrate technology in their students learning. In addition to this, the levels to which the teachers interact with their students are also limited.
With all the advantages that use of technology in classroom assessment brings, it is thus essential to use it. However, the teacher should not use technology alone to assess their students. Though this is a faster and more efficient way of assessment, the teacher also needs to have a personal contact with their students. This way, the process of learning is more interactive and thus enables the learner to see its importance even more. Classroom assessments also involve students evaluations among themselves with the guidance of the teacher and this can not be made possible online.
Barrett, H.C. (2006). Using electronic portfolios for formative/classroom-based assessment. Retrieved on February 27, 2011 from: http://electronicportfolios.com/portfolios/ConnectedNewsletter.pdf.
Ferdig, R.E. (2006). Assessing technologies for teaching and learning: understanding the importance of technological pedagogical content knowledge. Retrieved on February 27, 2011 from: http://126.96.36.199/pdf/%E8%AA%B2%E7%A8%8B%E8%B3%87%E6%96%99/Assessing%20technologies%20for%20teaching%20and%20learning%20understanding%20the%20importance%20of%20technological%20pedagogical%20content%20knowledge.pdf.
Spurlin, J.E. (2006). Technology and learning. Retrieved on February 21, 2011 from: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI3005.pdf.
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