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May 1, 2015
Vol. 72
No. 8

Student Takes: How Does Technology Improve Learning?

    Student Takes: How Does Technology Improve Learning? - Thumbnail
      Students at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Virginia, responded to two questions: How has your teacher used mobile technology to help you learn something? And how might a teacher use mobile technology to improve a lesson?
      I believe there should be more access to technology in schools because on the Internet, assignments would be far easier. You could write essays, do experimental labs, take tests, solve mathematics problems, and even create art using applications like Fresh Paint. Using e-readers, such as the Nook and the Kindle, would also cut down on school costs. Using Microsoft OneNote on your phone to do homework, you wouldn't need any paper. If you share the file on OneNote to your e-mail, you can convert it into an app like Google Docs by copying and pasting it once you get to a computer.
      Zach Saltos, 8th grade
      Because Kenmore is an arts and communication technology–focused school, we use our devices a lot. For example, in World Geography, we are doing "Geo Jingles," using our mobile to enhance our songwriting abilities (such as creating lyrics and using rhyming dictionaries). In English class on occasion, we will look up definitions or research a topic.
      Technology provides a gateway to valuable programs and websites. The Internet is an amazing place that I believe students should have greater access to during class. There are applications that allow students to paint with their finger, look at the brain in 3D, and make complex models for objects to be printed in plastic. A vast quantity of our learning is using the web.
      Marin Bultena, 8th grade
      Mobile technology doesn't necessarily improve the lesson, but it helps the lesson be more understandable. For example, if there's a question a student doesn't understand because of the complexity of the words, all that student has to do is open a dictionary app and search the word. In my opinion, this is better than wasting time and looking in a book.
      Also, having a smartphone at hand means students can check their grades anywhere at any time on an app called Student Vue. This app tells you the missing work you have due so you can work outside school on all of your classes. There's no need to go to school and ask the teacher. I think mobile technology is faster, simpler, and keeps everything organized versus binders and tons of papers.
      Aya Laoufir, 8th grade
      My physical science teacher, Leon Gibbs, had his students experience a virtual lab using laptops. Also, my geography teacher, Eric Underhill, had students involved with lots of technology, and it made his class unique because anything we had to complete in his class—for example, demographics, population pyramids, or GDP per capita—we were allowed to research with a tablet or laptop or our own personal phones.
      Alyssa Scott, 8th grade
      I think teachers should use different interactive programs via the Internet because these programs save money and time that teachers would be preparing lessons. A lot of people say we are the technology generation and kids are addicted to their devices now—so why not use this to our advantage by having interactive, educational games and experiments that will teach students without a lot of hassle? In science class recently, we used an interactive program where we clicked on what tools we needed and then conducted a virtual experiment. They also put safety videos in the program that keep kids interested.
      Olivia Kennett, 8th grade
      If a teacher were to allow students to use their devices, or if teachers provided the tech, then the kids might be able to better understand the subject. In English, a student could research a book or the subject the book was on. In science, there are multiple apps that could enhance students' learning experience. In geography, there are geographic maps and factoid websites accessible online. In my geometry class, we often use an app/website called geogebra that's very helpful when we don't have the correct materials to figure out a problem.
      Gemma Roberts, 8th grade
      One way we have used technology is when we read orchestra-related books in orchestra to teach us a bit more about the instruments, styles, and composers we are learning about. A lot of us use our phones or e-readers to read the books. We have to go down a long hallway, and the technology was just easier to carry. In the beginning, I carried this big book from the public library, but it was a big hassle …. After that, I just got a free book for the Amazon Kindle app, so that I could get my book on any device without a fee or a return time.
      Another way we use technology is when we use an app to record our songs, and the app grades us on our intonation and how many of the right notes we played.
      Natalie Marquez, 8th grade
      I think teachers should let us use our phones a lot more in class. Teachers are too concerned that we will play games and use social media. They don't have enough laptops to give everybody, so they should just let us use our phones to take notes and things. When teachers do let us use technology, they're too controlling. They don't trust us, and they need to.
      James Core, 8th grade

      This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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