In a society that often favors efficiency and saving time over doing things the “traditional way,” more people have turned to the use of technology and machines. Machines can be found everywhere, from supermarkets to hospitals and now classrooms. An example of this can be found in Arnold O. Beckman High School in Irvine, California. Mr. David Goldenberg, a World History AP and United States History AP teacher, makes full use of the personal laptops that have been distributed to the students from 2014 to 2015.
Until recently, classrooms typically came equipped with a whiteboard and maybe a computer for the teacher and a projector. These days, however, many classrooms contain technology such as interactive Smart Boards that react to a user’s touch.
When students first walk into Goldenberg’s classroom, a response question is displayed on the Smart Board. After taking a seat, students take out their laptops and quietly type responses for the question on a document. Afterwards, a video or Powerpoint presentation is shown to the class.
Throughout the year, students participate in online discussions through Haiku, a website used by teachers to post assignments and homework. To make urgent announcements, Mr. Goldenberg uses Remind 101, a program that allows teachers to send announcements to students’ phones through text. Weekly, notes and questions for chapters read for that week are turned into Turnitin.com, a plagiarism checker.
“Mr. Goldenberg’s classroom is extremely well-structured,” said Erica Shin, a junior. “It is very unlike other classes, where you just sit down and take notes for an hour. I feel like the use of electronics in his classroom allows other students and me to actively better participate.”
Along with being a creative new method to learn, the new use of these technologies help students to learn about being responsible.
“We’re required to bring our laptops to class every day,” Elaine Huang, a junior and a student of Mr. Goldenberg said. “Also, on online discussions, we learn how to effectively state our opinions while listening to other opinions at the same time. It requires a lots of responsibility.”
Many schools also use funding in order to purchase better computers for students to use in computer labs, and some schools even purchase laptops or iPads for each student. The use of these devices in public schools is greatly widening the spectrum of possible learning methods.