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The Use of Technology in Classrooms Research Paper

Introduction and background

Before one ventures into the various aspects that relate to the specific rules and regulations that surround the use of technology in classrooms, it is imperative that one appreciates that there are major differences in the various schools pertaining to educational technology. In most cases, students who attend high minority schools do not have the funds or equivalents of accessing technology as do some privately funded schools. As many as 85% of schools have computers but the average ratio is 24:1 of students to computers. Such statistics are five times the ratio that the U.S. department of education suggests.

Another aspect to consider is the requirement of using computers that is seen in 10th to 12th graders for school and college papers. As such, they are required to use laptops and computers at school to write and learn scholarly papers and resources. In one early research, it was identified that Hispanics and black were more likely to use and access computers daily as opposed to Asian and white students. Moreover, about 50% of students aged 13-17 had access to computers to learn math. All previously conducted research has, as a whole, generally pointed towards the use of educational technology in classrooms to bring about more effective results by students. Yet, there are technological projects that are in process of recording the positives that such amalgamations have on skill solving and critical thinking abilities among students.

One can expect that with the use of technological inventions in biology or arts classes, there will be better levels of student motivation, increased chances of students’ collaborating, and an improvement in academic outcomes. However, there are a few aspects that look at the more complex motives of technological amalgamations in daily lives; overall, the negatives lie far behind the positives of educational technology uses.

In the 1980s, the personal computer was made available. It was International Business Machines (IBM), that introduced the use of personal computer. Additionally, the Plato computer was introduced as part of the educational market. Schools did not yet have access to the internet, but computers were used for completing reports, assignments and other aspects. Shortly after, one could identify CD-ROMS and their use in the educational environments as well. It was the very first time that students could store and record content. The internet was added to educational systems in the 1990s, and it was not as fast as one may imagine. Today, there are many different versions of what one can define as the ‘ideal classroom.’ With YouTube’s invention in 2004, there were drastic changes and improvements in the way that is was used as an effective tool in classroom learning. Teachers were also allowed to share and view free videos that were of high beneficial value in classroom projects. Another very important addition includes the iClicker that allowed teachers to poll students in the lessons. The mid 2000-2010 era was the time where technology was added to the classroom budget. From 2007 to 2010, iPads were introduced. They were the first ever Wi-Fi enabled devices that classrooms fully trusted as learnings tools. By 2015, other tablets were also added based on their operating systems and types of devices. Low cost applications in online stores allow teachers to fully use these additions regularly. In 2017, virtual reality dominated classroom learning experiences. Devices such as Google Cardboard VR allowed students to study objects in 3 dimensions. The last two decades have changed the outlook towards technology in education. The role that teachers play has become highly facilitative and supportive in nature. Students are now able to learn and make use of a multitude of resources as they desire.

Educational Policy and Implications

Getting America’s Students Ready for the 21st Century: Meeting the Technology Literacy Challenge-A Report to the Nation on Technology and Education, U.S. Department of Education (1996) is one of the primary texts that will be used in the educational policy report as follows. The text focuses on the Technology Literacy Challenge that was created upon entering the 21st century. The primary objectives of the text relate to encompassing technology in many aspects within classrooms. Key points related to how:

  • Teachers in the United States were required to support students and train them to enable them to learn computers.
  • Teachers and classrooms in general are encouraged to have the most modern computers, that will be multimedia in nature, in their classrooms.
  • All these classrooms will be connected to the ‘information superhighway.’
  • Lined resources and software are to be an essential part of the curriculum.

As the text focuses on key policies in 1996, one ought to also assess other acts that were introduced in America at that time. For instance, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, in some aspects, promoted the use of technology and some form of Ethernet services in a few classrooms in the U.S.

To further elaborate on the telecommunications act of 1996, it was the biggest additions to the public policies in around 62 years. Despite the law targeting business communication aspects, it had a great potential to change the way that people lived, and learned in schools then. Essentially, the telecommunications act of 1996 affects the way that video services, and broadcast facilities are provided to schools. Moreover, the FCC has also played a role in creating fair values in the new era of competition. There was information in implementing the law, and the changes were seen in many aspects in communication and video services. The U.S. board also covered aspects that related to wireless and wired telecommunication devices that include telephones, faxes, and pagers. There were other products that were included as well that consisted of modems and computers. Moreover, there was equipment that related to the use of services. The FCC is truly responsible for enforcing the communications act. The Act was signed by Bill Clinton.

It is seen in Section 708- National Education Technology Funding Corporation, that there was abridgement of the educational and technological gaps. A relevance to NPBEA is seen in the way that it endorses and campaigns for PSEL. New Professional Standards for Educational Leadership (PSEL) were seen as part of NPBEA’s initiatives to improve and encourage improvements in standards. Today, there are different standards that relate to the 3-year process that changed the entire educational landscape. There was a great deal of research that was dated 1998-2008 and looked at the gaps that existed before the specified timeframe. There has been some relevance to the 1990s as part of the issues of that time were present because of the lack of communications that were improved with the American incorporation of changes in the laws and policies of the time. The national technology plans of the time looked at how communities, states, and schools applied technology in the 90s.

Similar applications are found in Pease Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas where students were encouraged to improve their lives with the use of technology. It was also seen how students were surprised when testing tubes and air pumps could find the carbon dioxide levels in the air.

The current policy is used because it is relevant to the changing requirements of the current generation. I plan to work in a highly facilitated environment where technology is used improvement in student outcomes. Moreover, one can see how school principals have become highly aware of the importance of accountability in the school. Also, the American public has become highly aware of the movement that is common in schools, federal government, and students. Also, with the addition of the “No Child Left Behind Act- NCLB,” policymaking groups were looking at the development of accountability in students. NCLB was also introduced in 2002, and in this the level of accountability and patents were studied. The current federal, state, and local school accountability measures as well as policy initiatives that call for improved leadership have placed increasing demands on principals.

There was a report in 1987 that related to the National Commission on Excellence in Educational Administration that highlighted the challenges that leaders proposed in terms of educational programs. Moreover, there is also a level of awareness that comes with such educational leadership programs. Policies that aim to improve communication and require there to be wireless and wired communication were important in the late 90s. Such policies relate to my level of attention of being a team builder. As part of the education system, it is important that I make full use of me prior experience. Moreover, community support is also an important aspect as it is part of raising the voice for education. This holds relevance in today’s schools because for years, there was very less relevance of such aspects. For example, NPBEA is already known for 21 of its domains, and also made the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium. It is highly necessary that schools have specific laws and policies that cater to the students’ improvement. Keeping these aspects in mind, it is also important to acknowledge that in education, many of the policies changed every other year or so. For instance, in 2003-2005, there were additions to the CCSO with the formation of Interstate Consortium on School Leadership. As part of my current and future work, I find it imperative to focus on building knowledge and abilities to promote success of students by encouraging the various departments within the education system and promoting the staff. Moreover, there needs to be input from the local community. Another aspect to consider is that the district leader needs to have the ability and knowledge to promote the success of students in any instructional program.

All new policies are likely to be influenced by historical educational leadership theories and ideas from the past. Prior to the development of policies that supported the introduction of wired and wireless technological aspects in educational environments, demands were underway for schools to focus on better results in students’ education. As mentioned above, there were calls for accountability in all these institutes. It was from historical improvements that institutes that just had ‘high status quotients,’ were no longer acceptable. Even then, leadership was important as it was considered as something that conveyed the element of dynamicity. In most cases, the school head and principal is considered as the leader, as seen in the 1990s policy reforms. There are loose adaptations taken from older times where the leader is the one who proposes changes in the aims and mission values of the school. Educational leadership in the past is the replacement for the term ‘administration,’ in school settings. However, leadership does not represent the full picture in this case. Of course, there are additions by the state, policy makers-the ministry, and state divisions.

The work that the school adds in is only the final step of the chain. Historical relevance identified that the school rests on the forefront of the chain and required a great deal of supervision that includes an entire revolution in the educational industry. One of the most impacting policies in school accountability is known to be “A Nation at Risk,” that was seen in 1983; this reform changed the way that public schools were dealt. Finally, there were superintendent highlighting of values. It is safe to say that the early 1980s were the golden years of educational policy changes. It was at this time that schools began to make radical shifts in the way that they conducted their curriculum lessons. Finally, one can infer that the 1980s set the tone for the 1990s, and the late 20th century was one that highlighted the roles that chief executive officer played; moreover, the roles that advisors played in a professional board setting, mangers, and communicators to the public have gained a great of attention.

Today, the use of technology in education is not a secret. in K-12, and higher education, there has been some sense of debate regarding its use. However, computers are essential in education as they prompt people to learn and become empowered by the useful information there is. Computers are an essential part of our schools today and they allow us to reevaluate teaching methods in all trueness. It was in 1998 that the United States was introduced to 5.8 million computers nationwide. Moreover, the office of technology assessment was a major part of the movement. There are many pros of having computer assisted classrooms where tutors can provide the best for the students. Up till now, teachers were the primary source of enlightenment for students, but they have taken a more administrative role today. With computers introduced in classrooms, every student can make use of multimedia tools that include videos and images storage that allow to cover missed lessons or encapsulate previous work.

Despite there being many pros of having composters as part of educational systems, there are many cons of amalgamating them in schools. For example, teaching had become very mechanic due to the lack of interaction. There still needs to be an account of students’ emotion. With the exponential increase in computer usage and its amalgamation in almost all walks of life, human life has lost one of its basic attributes that includes emotion. One can also argue that computers do not work well for students who like to participate in a collaborative environment. Computers can also make us look more stupid than smart.

Education is a window that works through our curiosity and imagination and can take students’ life into an enhanced level of creativity. It is undeniably true that education helps student achieve enormous goals, and there needs to be a connection between technology and classrooms. The pros far outweigh the cons that come along with the policy to associated technology in classrooms via promoting communication as per the 1996 act.

Looking at the changes and improvements in ELCC standards, there are many ramifications. Without much doubt, the world is changing. There is data that supports that superintendents are leaving their current roles as part of the educational society. These trends are combined with the incompetency that is prevalent today. With the drastic changes, there is a natural requirement for superintendents to promote leadership of key members at the school. Such improvement in ideal policies and reforms will not magically solve all the problems but only add some positive aspects to the current state of education. All introductions of ELCC standards relate to benchmarks and guideposts that allow people to improve their usage of research bases.

One can easily state that is it not technology alone, but people too who have evolved in the past twenty years. The world has, in either case, become more nuanced and sophisticated. People ought to learn skills to respond quickly to the fast changing environments in schools. The world has become more complex, moreover, people have started to value cognitive and communication skills in educational leaders. Technology is important in shaping our lives and how good children are educated. There is a great deal of balance that exists in tending to public concerns that include accountability, and skills of the future. Till the early to mid-20th century, the internet was part of science fiction only. The usage was limited to government leaders only, however, educational leaders and governmental members helped to build its foundation in educational technology. Also, in the mid-1990s, there were reports that related to creating recommendations related to technological additions. K-12 schools were connected to the ‘information superhighway,’ in the true sense shortly after. The report that was published in 1997, named “PCAST Panel on Educational Technology,” urged the high level of support for technology to promote universal usage. The internet slowly emerged, and there was the advent of the internet in educational institutes. Online systems such as ‘MOODLE,’ allow the most positive usage of technology in education today. Other examples include ‘TURNITIN,’ as the most beneficial K-12 plagiarism checking, and report submitting website.

A copy of the revised educational policy has been attached at the end of the paper. Teachers, students, and the staff are likely to be impacted by the proposed changes in the educational policy. With the introduction of one tablet per pupil, the way that teachers deal with students’ attention in school will make a drastic shift from traditional classrooms. The incorporation of computers for grading ‘multiple choice questions’ in real time will also affect the way that parents keep track of their children’s progress at school. All things being said and considered, google and apple have increased their market by providing for schools in 2016 alone. A study was published by the British Educational Suppliers Association, where around 1 million tablets were supplied for educational purposes. There is a worldwide market that exists in American as well. There are many benefits and changes in the way that the staff pertains to communicational aspects at school. In many cases, teachers and students make use of online platforms and tablet systems that include mostly IOS or Android to promote educational platform. There are aspects that include iTunes U that allow teachers and the staff to create virtual courses as well. Moreover, there are aspects that include iBook textbook options. Google play has also managed to bridge the gap. The entire educational philosophy is likely to take a drastic change for the better.

With the amalgamation of technology in all forms of communicational departments, there are likely to be differences in the way that verbal and written communication is dealt. For instance, principals today make full use of online applications such as WhatsApp, Gmail, Facebook messenger and so forth. While it allows colleagues to become closer and tightly knit as a whole, there are some setbacks. For instance, verbal communication has taken a backseat as opposed to the time before the 1990s. All community discussions will now tend to be completed online mostly with emails and other Facebook communication options that aim to overpower all others. The school board will aim to maintain verbal communication as the key period of discussion regarding any topic. The positive of such policies include quick and ineffective levels of communication. Updates regarding any trouble or query can be cleared in a mere matter of minutes, without the need for individual meetings or conversations with the principal for tiny matters.

There are many budget implications that the school will bear prior to addition in high school. The primary target group will include grades 9-12. Considering that there are 120 students per grade on average, the total number of students include 480. As the policy is to be introduced, all students will be required to have Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (it has a retail price close to $120). The initial budget for the tablets alone will amount to $58,000. The tablet is chosen as it is economically feasible for all those involved. Computers will be installed (total of 150 in number), and their purpose is to change the way that papers and computers have. Considering that an average range computer costs $400, the total amount is $60,000. There are other costs as well that surely include equipment, but staff to tend to any errors in the running of the machines is required too. The initial costs will easily amount to $200,000, and new workers ought to be added to the IT team in the particular school. The sky high costs of promoting such aspects are detectable. The students and teachers, along with invigilators will require to have apt training to use such computers daily.

There are many aspects that relate to the finance models, and the likes of how students will be equipped. Other questions relate to how to buy tablets. Moreover, there are also likely to be e-safety policies. Implementation plans are also part of the process. Teachers need to be prepared for tablets as well. There needs to be a small start, moreover, the selection of applications needs to be highly monitored. In all cases, professional development is key. The classroom organization is likely to change. Students need to limit their usage of tablets as utilities only, and not as tools to record audio clips or take pictures at every step.

Implementation of the new school policy- Detailed Timeline:  Training Implementation and Management

Phase Tasks, Milestones and/or Deliverables Start Date End Date Responsible Role
Implement changes in technology uses at school 08/23/18 08/28/18 Superintendent and Principal
Prepare for Roll-Out 09/01/18 09/30/18 Staff at the school
Training periods for 1 hours a day during school hours 10/01/18 10/31/18 Staff at the school
Register Participants in the new program 11/15/18 12/31/18 Staff and superintendents
Evaluate Training (Levels 1-3) at intervals 02/01/19 03/31/19 Teachers, Staff, Superintendents, and the Principal

The following is the revised educational policy that is suggested based on all previous occurrences.

  • Two elements will be central to the policy; they include focusing on educational performances, and school choice.
  • The parents will have a highly active role in choosing what is best for their children.
  • A moderation of “No Child Left Behind,” will be applied. This will include establishing very high standards of education that have measurable goals.
  • As per the legislation, there needs to be standardized testing methods that will be conducted via computerized systems. These systems will allow the students to access results in real time. Sufficient funding out to be allocated to the addition of such systems to the school.
  • Innovation and improved achievements are the goal in K-12 education. The American government will reinvest in promoting these performance standards by implementing reforms that will focus in the betterment of teachers, students, and parents.
  • Online learning is a requirement as virtual classrooms are the best kind in terms of felicity of timings, and learning concepts.



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