Changing courses: Technology in the classroom

Common Core standards require proficiency in typing and computer skills

Teacher Debbie Cruger-Hansen assists fourth graders using Google docs to complete an exercise at Mira Vista School in Richmond, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Teacher Debbie Cruger-Hansen assists fourth graders using Google docs to complete an exercise at Mira Vista School in Richmond, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Technology has undoubtedly become a necessary component in today’s education system — current Common Core standards require students to become proficient in typing and computer skills.

A student uses a tablet to follow along with the teacher in an eighth grade Spanish class at Autrey Mill Middle School. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
A student uses a tablet to follow along with the teacher in an eighth grade Spanish class at Autrey Mill Middle School. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

KOIN 6 News spoke with a tech expert who evaluated the costs and benefits technology can have on a student’s learning experience.

“Kids are making films, kids are making online lessons, kids are making games and programming through these,” Concordia University Chief Innovation Officer Shawn Daley said. “Because they’re so multifaceted they allow kids to do a whole lot of things.”

Daley, a professor and Apple distinguished educator, said digital technology like smartphones, tablets and 3D printers are important tools in today’s education system.

Benefits of such technologies include greater access to information, added creativity and traditional gains.

“We do see in a lot of studies, gains in reading ability, writing ability and mathematics ability,” Daley explained.

Abhinav Tirath uses a tablet to follow along with his teacher in an eighth grade Spanish class. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Abhinav Tirath uses a tablet to follow along with his teacher in an eighth grade Spanish class. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

But with access to technology continuing to grow within the classroom, Daley said it’s all about finding balance.

“A teacher has to be able to use all of this stuff in moderation,” he said.

Daley said writing in general is still being taught, but previous Common Core standards, including cursive writing instruction, are no longer mandatory.

While the benefits of technologically-enhanced learning are apparent, Daley said there are still some pitfalls.

“If a teacher has not been given the background to be able to use all this great stuff, it could be a big mess for kids because they don’t have the experience to disseminate what’s what,” Daley said.

However, teachers who are qualified to instruct with the help of technology can help foster learning in exciting new ways.

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