Recently, there has been a lot of debate on how much technology should be used in the classroom. In his article, Marc Prensky suggests that students today are bored in school because we are not teaching them the thing necessary for a successful future. Teachers ask students to turn off cell phones and put away electronics when they should be asking their students to use their devices to assist with their school work. Kathy Cassidy agrees but believes that students should only be using technology when it does something that standard materials cannot. She points out that many teachers use technology as busy work for their students who have completed an assignment. Cassidy argues that this is wrong and technology should only be used to do “good things in better ways.” A third article, written by Mary Beth Hertz, sides with Cassidy stating that a pencil can be the right technology. She argues that technology is beneficial, but it can be overused. Why use a tablet when pencil and paper will do the same thing? Herts believes that teachers can incorporate technology into their classrooms while still using paper and pencil. The issue is not whether or not to use technology in the classroom, it is how much to use and when to use it.
I agree with all three authors. I believe that technology is a very important part of education and teaching our students how to use it responsibly is part of our job as educators. Although I have never seen a classroom that incorporates too much technology I am sure that there are many teachers who use it inappropriately. Some people may argue why use a pencil when you can use a computer. To them I would say writing skills are very important and handwriting develops fine motor skills. It also allows students to hold their work in their hands as they are working on it. Many professions, such as marketing, design, and engineering, require pencil-to-paper skills. If we only ever teach our students how to use a computer they will not develop proficient pencil-to-paper skills. In summary, technology is an important part of our world and therefore should be incorporated into our classrooms. However, it is also important that we teach basic skills alongside the complex ones.