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The research on apps and technology

It is time to stop blaming technology for people’s bad behaviors.

The use of technology into daily teaching practices has been put into question several times over and over. Skepticals use deceiving persuasive strategies to convince the public that technology is harmful. Despite my young age(28), I have had enough of the drama and speculations over the use of technology as a monster of society. A technology that causes damage to children and makes people dumb. Here are some of the rumors I am sure you all have heard:

watching television made you dumb“: yes, despite the fact that today’s television is filled with drama and violence and it has been over used as baby sitter for children. It is not the TV’s fault that parents use it as baby sitter, right? Yes, letting children in front of a television for 10 hours/ day could have an impact as they are probably missing important interaction and bonding time with their parents, to say the least.

Excessive exposure to anything in fact can cause harm, not only the TV. Has anyone considered the possible harmful effects for a child who reads for 10 hours/day without any other interaction? Yes, you do improve reading skills, and reading probably has keeps your brain more active instead of the passive consumption of information provided by television. However, just like the child that watches TV for 10 hours, the child that reads for 10 hours also has limited social interactions, and limited life experiences.

However, for many it was the advent of television, that allowed them to see different cultures, learn about the weather, and even something so simple as to laugh. I use my Tv mostly for movies, which exposes me to lots of nice cultural information and fun.

I probably used one of the most controversial arguments when talking about television. But now let’s move into games and computer use.

Becta’s (2009) research demonstrates that there is a strong body of evidence to suggest that digital technologies can have a positive impact on learners. Specifically research shows that integrating digital technologies into the learning environment and embedding these technologies into teacher pedagogical practice can:

  • Positively impact on student engagement and motivation, including improving their confidence levels, attitudes towards their own learning and behavior as well as decreasing absenteeism.
  • Promote improved opportunities for students to control the contraction of knowledge and to learn through collaboration and conversation, and
  • improve connections across sites of learning, and with real world, through formal and informal online networks and access to global communities with expertise and perspectives that can enhance and enrich learning.

Available Research:

Research in development:

Through a partnership with a large urban school district in Utah, a research project at the University of Cincinnati will experiment with the use of AppleiPads in K-8 classrooms. The initiative will test the use of 35 Apple iPads to collect educational research in a federally funded partnership to improve teacher quality in elementary math and science education. 

In August 2010, Pepperdine University launched a three-term study to assess the iPad’s potential in the education sector. The fall 2010 and spring 2011 academic terms were used for exploratory research to inform an experimental research design. An experimental research design will be used in the fall 2011 term to assess the iPad’s potential to enhance student learning outcomes.

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