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Technology has led to the development of new ways of doing things in different fields. Advances in technology can be felt in virtually all fields. Education is affected by the level of technology in use. Technology is an augmentation of learning but not a preceding factor. Therefore, technological applications ought to be used for the enhancement of the learning experience and not the development of new learning area. Learning in itself ought to be active such that the students are not mere recipients of knowledge but active participants in the learning materials.
In the event that a school decides to use technology, there is a need to select the learning applications that add value to the learner actively through participation. Therefore, any learning enhancing technology ought to be developed with the perspective of active learning and other theories of learning “A tertiary meta-analysis showed learning gains from computer reading interventions.” (Archer et al., 142).
Computers are used in the classes to enhance active learning. The classroom management that uses active learning through technology has better outcomes than the ones that do not use it. On the other hand, the advantages of the real life learning and motion pictures have to be considered in the course of the learning activity such that the process is also interactive and indicative of the real learning environment as possible. Applications such as Edmodo, Google classroom and Schoology have features that make the virtual learning experience more productive and interactive.
When it comes to the selection of an application to use in the classroom, it is important for the tutor to look at the implications of such processes on the overall learning experience. The mantra in the selection process is to work with the process that is working for your needs as a tutor and those of the students (Wang and Reeves, 49-65). “Undoubtedly, as the ultimate practitioners, teachers are one of the key contributors to the success of integrating new technologies into learning and instruction.” (Wang and Reeves, 51)
There is no need of changing with the current applications since the new applications are not guaranteed to give more utility to the teacher or the student. Changing with the market leads to the development of an inventory of applications with no real value addition to the students since change will eventually distort learning.
Whenever one is using the computers in the classroom there is a chance that the students will be distracted. However, distractions are not directly attributable to the technology. Even in the traditional setting of the classroom, there are levels of distractions witnessed by the tutor. Distractions depend on the level of the students and time among other factors. Technology can be a basis for more diversions among the students if it is used in the wrong manner.
This means that technology will eventually lead to some levels of additional distractions. With this fact in mind, it is important for the tutors to come up with new ways of dealing with the distractions. Distraction control methods used in the conventional modes of learning can be applied in this setting “The pupils approached these new teaching aids without inhibition. After delivering brief instructions on correct laptop operation and use, the observers could notice very quickly, that children, …” (Ladel, 466).
Additionally, some customized distraction controls could be used to develop the most optimal approach to the issue in the modern classroom. Distraction control in the modern classroom focuses on the alignment of the technology with the learning outcomes and communication of the alignment to the students (Lowerison et al., 465-489). “ from a constructivist perspective, computer technology has the potential to support diverse needs and capacities within the student population and to allow students greater control over their learning … (Lowerison et al., 467).
Aligning the goals means that the students will be capable of learning the main issues that they have to note and they will be on the lookout for the goals. Any distraction that is not in line with the learning outcome ought to be ignored and the focus ought to be on the goal. Goal setting in any classroom activity increases the distraction management propensity of the tutor.
The key factor to consider in the classroom management activities is whether one has a plan and whether the plan has a backup in the event that it fails. “As with anything, the key to quality classroom management is to have a plan, a Plan B, and to ensure that technology integration is consistent, clear, and supports the learning objectives and goals.” (Rafael, 4) If one has a plan, there is a high chance that he will attain his result. In technology incorporation, the pan is to work with a consistent approach; the manager has to ensure that the plan of action is clear to all the stakeholders, more so the students. The integration has to be actively contribution to the learning outcome otherwise; the entire activity will be futile.
This means that the end of any learning technology is improving the learning experience or augmenting it in ways that the traditional approaches to learning to not. Active learning ought to be the result of any activity as opposed to the traditional learning approaches that use the direct drilling of knowledge into the minds. Each learning event ought to be complemented by an active learning activity whereby the students have the opportunity to come up with new inventions and display their understanding of the event.
Learning technology enhances the practice of active learning since it is interactive and multi pronged. However, learning has to instill the processes meant to control the extrinsic factors. Limiting the use of the technology for unethical issue is one of the extrinsic measures of controlling the use of computers in the classroom. With the increase in the affordability of computers and the diversity of the learning environment, adoption of the learning technology is the best way forward.
Use of computers in the classrooms helps in the reduction of the notion of lack of interest and ride along attitude that majority of the learners have. Most of the classrooms still use the traditional approach whereby they focus on the instructor, chalkboard and students layout. The traditional approach to learning is a cause of major failures in courses since the students often find themselves disengaging from the classroom activity.
Students that are in the classrooms today are different from the ones that were in the same situations in the past decade. Technological developments are so important and cherished by the modern students such that a slump in the instructional technology or approach leads to a disconnect for them dealing with the issue calls for more than traditional approaches to learning whereby student preferred learning approaches are used.
Technology perceptive and creative teaching approaches are preferred among the modern day student. Integration of the technology in the learning environment is one of the most advocated approaches to modern learning in the world. Major universities and schools in the developed world have decided to work with the teaching approaches that are preferred by the majority of the students. Students need the learning environment that will stimulate their interests.
The students that have a good learning environment often find themselves liking and understanding the topics. However, when the students are removed from the motivating learning environment into a traditional classroom, they end up being fidgety and restless. Therefore, the involvement of the technology in the learning environment is a source of new motivations for the majority of the students that are technologically updated.
The secret in the modern learning environment lies in the ability of the management to engage the students in the learning environment. Engagement can only be taken up to a certain level in the traditional learning environment. However, with the development of learning aid technology it is possible for the learners to come up with better ways of learning. They are more involved in the learning activity leading to more understanding. The technology also factors in the contributions of the rest of the stakeholders in education more so the parents.
Traditional learning led to the development of tricks of avoiding the parent’s involvement. Ensuring that the parent was involved was sometimes impossible for the faculty since the parents have different schedules and often they lack time to follow up on their children’s progress. Technology solves this issue through creation of portals for communication on the progress of the student. “Technology is a central part of the 21st century classroom…” (Moussly & Naidoo, 3)
The parent can manage follow up on his child virtually from any point in the world. Technology is, therefore, a central part of the students’ life and the ability of the faculty to harness the advantages that it presents will contribute to the creation of the desired learning outcomes in cheaper and enjoyable means than in the conventional learning context.
Archer, Karin et al. 'Examining the Effectiveness of Technology Use in Classrooms: A Tertiary Meta-Analysis'. Computers & Education 78 (2014): 140-149. Web.
Ladel, Silke. 'An Academic Experiment On The Use Of Computers In Elementary School Mathematics Classrooms'. ZDM 38.6 (2006): 464-471. Web.
Lowerison, Gretchen et al. 'Student Perceived Effectiveness Of Computer Technology Use In Post-Secondary Classrooms'. Computers & Education 47.4 (2006): 465-489. Web.
Moussly, Rania, and Amelia Naidoo. 'Adapting Classrooms To The 21St Century'. Gulfnews.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 3 Dec. 2014.
Rafael, San. 'Classroom Management In The Tech-Equipped Classroom'. Edutopia. N.p., 2014. Web. 3 Dec. 2014.
Wang, Feng, and Thomas C. Reeves. 'Why Do Teachers Need To Use Technology In Their Classrooms? Issues, Problems, And Solutions'. Computers in the Schools 20.4 (2003): 49-65. Web.
The reading “Hidden Lessons" by Sadker and Sadker analyses shows gender biases in the school. Boys and girls who share the same teachers, classrooms receive very different kind of education. The female students are very often invisible in classrooms. Teachers have a tendency to spend most of their time concentrating on the girl child while neglecting the female students (Shaw 23). This progressively goes on even in the later stages of education and throughout the career paths of girls. However, this problem goes unnoticed most of the time as the problem of gender bias is perceived to be a normality and, therefore, goes unnoticed for most of the times. In spite of the fact that girls are the bulk of the nation’s schoolchildren, they are neglected in one of the most important foundations of their lives. Girls are not given as much attention as the boys of their age receive in the classroom. This tends to create problems for the girls as they are forced to loss most of their self-esteem, realize minimal achievements and are influenced heavily by their career choices (Shaw 45). The problem I more severe, especially when the girls are not able to withstand this pressure and give in to the same.
When the teachers are asked the reason as to why they concentrate most of their time on the boys, they respond that they require more time in order to improve their potential. Teachers claim that they give boys more time because boys need the time more than the girls. Teachers, who are of good intentions, therefore, find themselves paying much more attention to the boys as compared to the girls. While the teachers are busy teaching the boys, the girls are being ignored, and these makes them aware of the fact that the society does not value them as much as the boys are valued. This subsequently creates an attitude whereby the girls learn that society gives priority to the boys and make them second in all the decisions. The reading from the hidden lessons shows that most students are not able to distinguish famous women because the society has taught them to ignore them anyway.
The extent to which gender bias is engraved is shown by the depth at which sexual harassment is rampant in schools. Boys are tolerated to continue with this behavior as most people believe that boys will always be boys. While teacher’s, as well as the administrators, turn a blind eye to this problem, girl’s pinching, touching and harassment happens each and every time. Whenever any case is brought pregarding the same, it is swiftly dealt with. At times, the complaint is forced to feel sorry for having reported in the first place. Girls are made to feel guilty of such complains by being asked to dress more appropriately, with the teachers claiming such dress codes as the triggers to the mischief.
An incidence described in the reading shows an economics professor who was blatantly using sexual harassment to drive his point’s home. The professor is said to use women in bikini in the middle of lectures in order to make them more interesting. This shows the depth at which gender bias has sunk. Not only is it a boy’s problem, the teachers are also embracing the same. This incidences have all contributed to demoralization of the girl child. Every time that a girl reds a history which paints the men as heroes in most of the stories, the girl gets the notion that they are not important. Each and every time the teacher passes over to a girl to get the ideas of the boys as well as their opinions, the girl is often forced to differ and at times to be silent to avoid being victimized. Teacher use their expertise to praise, esquire and seek clarification from the boys which makes the boys to be more attentive and sharper.
In the reading "Naughty by Nature" by Ferguson, the young African American boys are neglected from the White American boys. The young African American boys are subjected to segregation by the notion that they are black and are, therefore, typical of the African American adults. Children learn from those who are around them. In fact, children look up to the older people and try to imitate them. There are two representations of the black masculinity that are very common in the society today (Shaw 47). These representations present the African American as criminals and endangered species. A case study of Rosa Park School shows that this is the representations that the teachers from this area use to show the differences in the African American, as well as the White Americans. These differences re then used by the teachers in passing of judgements as well as exercising the school rules. The behavior of any black child is looked at through the lens of these two representations. The young black male are looked in a similar manner as the adults. The transgressions that are made are aimed at producing a very sinister, intentional and sense of consciousness on the child’s side. In fact, teachers sometimes go to the extent of invoking the African American children as adults and labeling them as looters.
While the first reading is focused on the isolation of the girl child in the classroom, the second reading is mainly focused on bringing out the difference in treatment which the African American young male are treated with as compared to their counter-parts. The first reading has illustrated the levels of gender biases. Girls are made to believe that boys are worthy as compared to them early in life. Teachers append most of the time actively concentrating on the boy child while ignoring the girl child. The biggest worry is the fact that the girls comprise the largest bulk of the school going children, and this is likely to have subsequent detrimental effects on the society. There are several illustrations that have been made to bring out the depth of gender biases in the classroom. . Some teachers would rather have the girls read examples in a math class while they make constant pressure on the males to actively participate in class. The second reading brings out the provoking prejudice against the girl African American males. The white American males are at liberty of being tolerated for being boys, but the African American male are isolated and treated as adults. For them, there is no allowance for being naïve and childish which is enjoyed by their white male counter-parts.
It is important to each and every member of the society to understand the importance of gender equality. The level of isolation which has been imparted on the girl child is likely to have spill-over effects on the society at large. The school managements should ensure that there are comprehensive strategies set out to stamp out gender bias. There should also be motivational strategies to give all the staff members and non-teaching staff the motivation necessary to achieve this. Outstanding efforts should be rewarded for those individuals who make remarkable contributions to helping stamp out gender biases. The boys should be taught to treat girls as their equal at an early stage in life. This mutual respect should be cultivated through their growth so as to ensure that they grow up respecting and loving the girls as well. Girls should be well enlightened and made to understand that they have equal chances as the boys. They need to be reminded that boys are not always the ones to be heard and praised. Girls need to be empowered so that they can gain confidence to face and withstand any kind of humiliations. There should be programs which should be aimed at making both the boy child and the girl child understand that they are all equal.
The society should stamp out gender bias in all aspects of life. The girl child has the same potential and should therefore be given similar opportunities as the boy child to motivate them. When children are made to understand that both genders are respected and therefore important, they will follow this trend. The curriculum should be structured in such a manner that the outstanding women’s contribution is given the same level of importance as the men. If each individual is motivated to uphold the rights and the aspirations of each other regardless of the gender, gender bias will be a thing of the past.
Shaw, Victoria. Coping with Sexual Harassment and Gender Bias. New York: Rosen Pub
Group, 1998. Internet resource.
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