WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The Shift to Technology in the Classroom

May 18, 2014

Schools are changing from the days when teachers stood at the front of the classroom writing lessons on the blackboard.

José Galvan, social studies teacher at Macomb Junior High School, said he started implementing technology into his classroom around five years ago and, in his opinion, it has been successful.

Galvan uses online programs such as Animoto, and he has laptops and devices that he refers to as clickers to use in his classroom.

Galvan believes technology does its job by deepening the educational value and significance the students receive from the lesson taught. For example, Galvan assigned students to pretend they were curators for a slave exhibit at a museum.

He felt his students were able to delve into the life of a slave and learn more about what it was like.

"I thought it allowed them to deepen their connection, and to grow, and even to express themselves. They had a lot of flexibility with this project," Galvan said.

Galvan said many veteran teachers are willing to try new tools but they require a bit of a learning curve. 

“I think that this is that period of transition. We have a generation of teachers, younger than me even, who have been used to it (technology), have been around it their entire lives,” said Galvan.

“I think that we're in that process of bridging the gap between the veteran teachers … (who) they don't live it, and the teachers who do live with technology, they’ve lived with it their entire lives.”

He said teachers who are not as familiar with technology should not be afraid to jump in and try something new.

Katie Hoge concurred with that opinion. Hoge, the technology coordinator for the Macomb School District, is excited about the way technology grows. She said that growth is aided by feedback provide by product users.

"The great thing about technology is that it changes over night. It changes by the minute," Hoge said, "so a lot of these websites that create these great products want feedback."

Hoge and Galvan both feel the use of technology will continue to grow in the coming years, though they said it’s difficult to predict how it will change as advances are made.