The digital world involves the virtual and distance access to multiple programs and people through the use of technological devices. This can both broaden the access to the larger world and limit the focus on the present. While many educators discuss the difficulties that were found when educating millennials as the generation had never known a time without technology, modern students have taken this to the next level of accessibility at a very young age. Elementary and middle school students often have access to even more advanced technology than do their educators (Seifert & Tshuva-Albo, 2014; Wang et al., 2014). Furthermore, as the administrators are less technologically savvy than the students, there have been numerous restrictions on the use of these devices in the classrooms. For instance, Seifert & Tshuva-Albo (2014) state that many school districts and classroom teachers are less apt to allow the students to have their cell phones during class time. Yet, Hsu, Wang, & Runco (2013) claim that the educators should, instead, embrace this technological competence and integrate these devices into learning environment.
Of course, most educators are more comfortable with the use of computers in the classroom than cell phones due to the ability to monitor the students’ activities. Howard, Chan, and Caputi (2015) explain that many educators feel that this takes away from their own classroom autonomy and ability to work with their students through their own knowledge of their academic achievement levels. However, studies have also shown that the ability to work on multiple subjects and integrate different subject matters together through the use of ICT has greatly improved these academic achievement levels (Howard, Chan, & Caputi, 2015). Specifically, regardless of the students’ technological competency upon entrance into the classroom, these abilities must advance at the same rate as the technology that they will need to utilize in later academic and professional pursuit. If it is the goal of an educator to prepare students for these pursuits, then at all possible stages it is necessary to utilize ICT in the classrooms. It is important that the educator become comfortable and confident in these devices and programs so that integration will not hinder their ability to fulfill this goal.
- Howard, S. K., Chan, A., & Caputi, P. (2015). More than beliefs: Subject areas and teachers’ integration of laptops in secondary teaching. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(2), 360-369.
- Hsu, H. Y., Wang, S. K., & Runco, L. (2013). Middle school science teachers’ confidence and pedagogical practice of new literacies. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 22(3), 314-324.
- Seifert, T., & Tshuva-Albo, V. (2014). Teaching based augmented reality and smartphones to promote learning motivation among middle school students. Virtual Conference: 19th Annual TCC Worldwide Online Conference (April 22-24, 2014), The University of Hawai’i Kapi’olani Community College & The University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Educational Technology Department University of Hawaii.
- Wang, S. K., Hsu, H. Y., Campbell, T., Coster, D. C., & Longhurst, M. (2014). An investigation of middle school science teachers and students use of technology inside and outside of classrooms: considering whether digital natives are more technology savvy than their teachers. Educational Technology Research and Development, 62(6), 637-662.