Technology is, and has been, a big part of daily life for people in the 21st century. With so many people in the possession of devices that can access and effectively use the internet, we are undoubtedly in an age that is shaped by our technology. That fact applies to schools as well, and schools, including San Marin, need to be prepared to make the development of technology in their classrooms their top priority.
The biggest cause of common technology growth in the last 10 to 12 years has been the development of smartphones including Apple and Samsung devices. According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, 96% of Americans own some type of cell phone and 81% of Americans own a smartphone. The increase in the availability of these smartphones has opened up access to the internet, which has brought with it the insurmountable amount of information that the internet entails. This ease of transportation of information makes many aspects of daily life overall a lot easier.
In school, technology is becoming a major part of life as well, as seen in the Novato Unified School District, which through Measure G has provided Chromebooks for all students. With all of the advantages that the Chromebooks bring, teachers are able to more efficiently run their classrooms and evolve their coursework.
The addition of chromebooks to school’s daily life has been overwhelmingly positive for students and teachers alike, however just having chromebooks is not enough if school districts want to take full advantage of the usefulness of the internet. Even though many classrooms take advantage of the chromebooks there are still many classrooms that do not use them, instead opting for the same textbooks they have been using for years. Many teachers have not realized that the internet allows them to find different and more recent resources to use in class which can help to evolve their courses and make them more interesting for students. Administration is partly at fault for this as well. The lack of structure when it comes to using new technology by administration de-values it to an extreme. Administrations like San Marin’s need to push the use of technology in so that the teachers can change their coursework and so that teachers can get the most out of their technology.
The new technology that schools provide can lead to technical problems, one of which is bandwidth. One of the main problems with the bandwidth is that with so many students and staff accessing the internet at the same time it makes the connection slower for everyone. San Marin has installed Wi-Fi access points to create a mesh network that covers the whole school, however the network still has trouble supporting all of the connections.
Overall, the advantages of technology at school far outway the disadvantages and the inclusion of technology moving forward is a major project that school administrations should take as a top priority to better the environment for their students and teachers.