Digital technologies in students’ everyday and school lives

By making things easier, new technology has changed the dimension of people's lives. For example, one can interact and network with others by using iPods, iPhones, emails, and search engines, among other things. As a result of the new technology, experts have pledged to explore its effects on student life. According to studies, the rapid technological transformation has had a favorable impact on the education industry. Pupils can get new knowledge and so improve their learning outcomes. The push towards integrating and using technology-based technologies has been driven by the argument that classrooms rich in technology provides many people with a wide range of educational opportunities.

Teaching and learning are no longer restricted to face-to-face interactions. However, adoption of new technology in schools require the teachers to be provided with time and support to familiarize with the technology and learn how to use it in ways that inspire the students. Moreover, advanced technology has led to change of inter-relationships. Students engaging with the new technology are able to develop a sense of the community from the related websites. Through interaction with the new technologies, students learn new skills such as incisive analysis, multi-tasking, and information searching among others. The article investigates how the student’s habitus is formed within the environment of available technology. The survey revealed that habitus is not determined by the community structures or the free will of the students. However, the interaction between the students and the structure determines how their habitus is constructed.

Waxman, H. C., Boriack, A. W., Lee, Y. H., & MacNeil, A. (2013). Principals' Perceptions of the Importance of Technology in Schools. Contemporary Educational Technology, 4(3), 187-196.

In the recent years, there has been research on what school principals can do to improve the students’ performance. These studies have revealed that schools integrate technology into the teaching process in order to improve the learner’s performance. Moreover, they have discovered that head of schools play a crucial part when deciding whether technology is adopted in their institutes or not. The attitude of principals towards computers influences their decision to adopt a technology. Therefore, school principals should be updated with the latest technology in order to help teachers utilize the technology in the classrooms. A study documenting the perception of school principals on technology indicated different responses on the function of technology in schools.

First, some principals indicated that technology is an essential communication tool. Schools are able to send newsletters through the email system and also communicate with the education ministry in a quick and accurate way. Secondly, principals argue that technology is integrated into the teachers’ instructions. For instance, in the laboratory technology plays a great role in teaching students. Moreover, schools are able to share and manage data in an accurate and quicker way, thus impacting positively on the students learning. Moreover, principals use technology for administrative purposes like taking attendance, record keeping, and student learning. If technology is used sufficiently, it can have provided incredible steps on how to find information and utilize it.

Davis, K., & Fullerton, S. (2016). Connected learning in and after school: Exploring technology's role in the learning experiences of diverse high school students. The Information Society, 32(2), 98-116.

There is a difference between the students’ learning practices in a school setting and an after school setting. Studies indicate that the afterschool programs are centered on production, interest powered and peer supported. Moreover, they are likely to involve youths and adults who have similar goals. In most cases, these programs are undertaken in well-networked infrastructures, which provide necessary facilities. Studies on the exchange of information in school and afterschool settings reveal that schools are more constrained than the afterschool settings. This is because of the many contacts in the afterschool settings, which create the required conditions for connected learning. On the other hand, the controlled interactions in the school setting create tensions between the essentials of connected learning, for example between peer supported spheres and academically oriented learning.

Research reveals that students have more chances to practice connected learning while in an afterschool locations compared to when they are at school. Connected learning in afterschool settings experiences various challenges during its implementation because of the diverse values and goals of the participants. Moreover, it is difficult to access resources such as computers and the Internet in the afterschool settings. After school settings have diverse cultural, language and geographical barriers as compared to school settings. Schools settings provide libraries where one can access the computers at any time. Furthermore, social-cultural barriers such as home responsibilities hinder students from accessing the learning experiences.

Hartell, E., Gumaelius, L., & Svärdh, J. (2015). Investigating technology teachers’ self-efficacy on assessment. International journal of technology and design education, 25(3), 321-337.

The article investigates whether subject-specific teaching in technology education influences the assessment of learner’s knowledge. Assessment is crucial in student learning if it involves teachers, peers, and learners as active agents. The article emphasizes the role played by teachers in giving students the chance to become active agents and possessors of their knowledge. Assessment is carried out for different purposes. For instance, in an educational context, a valuation is conducted to guarantee that students achieve their goals. If an assessment does not entail the future progress of the students, it should be questioned and eliminated. A study on the differences in views of assessment between subject-specific trained teachers training technology education and teachers not trained showed that there are variations on how they use the syllabus documents as a basis of valuation and self-efficacy when evaluating learner’s knowledge.

The study revealed that subject-specific teachers express higher self-efficacy when assessing the students compared to those who are not trained. The findings showed that broad teacher training is not adequate to train technology education. It is evident that subject-specific teaching contributes significantly to a teacher’s self-efficacy. Trained teachers are able to assess their students in the way that is stipulated by the curriculum. Therefore, their students will have the opportunity to achieve the level of information that they are eligible to. Future studies should explore how the quality of assessment and teaching can be upgraded by teacher education.

Langran, E. (2010). Technology resource teachers as school leaders. Journal of Technology Integration in the Classroom, 2(2), 163-179.

Technology resource teachers (TRTs) are essential in the integration and development of technology in a school. A technology resource teacher acts as a change agent in schools and thus should be given sufficient resources to support training. TRTs act as the web page designers, professional development trainers, technical support staff and curriculum experts. The fact that TRTs are neither classroom teachers nor administrators create a problem of defining their roles as they vary from school to school depending on the school’s size. TRT’s work on a full-time basis in the large schools. On the other hand, if the school is small, they may have to work for two elementary schools in order to be considered as full-time employees in the given school. However, in most cases, technology resource teachers are provided to schools on a half-time basis to help in co-planning and co-teaching.

Technology resource teachers are perceived to be leaders because they interact with the principals, teachers, students and school administrators in a way that only a few staff can. School districts should include the technology resource teachers in the departmental meetings in order to allow them to interact with teachers and the school administrators. Schools that have created the position of TRTs view them as peers to other teachers because they effectively reach the teachers if they have a problem in technology integration. Moreover, in schools where TRTs do not have a specific schedule or control, they can opt to teach in the classrooms. Finally, schools should organize workshops to train TRTs on the required leadership skills.

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