Technology for ESL

Technology Education for Primary Schools
By:Teri West

Technology education in primary schools involves the use of computers and other electronic devices in the classroom. Teachers can use technology to deliver information or provide ways for students to complete classroom lessons. Using technology in primary schools helps students learn computer basics at an early age.

Technology Debate
Debating the pros and cons of technology in schools---especially the primary grades---is fairly common in education circles. Some teachers maintain that teaching technology at an early age is simply exposing children to one of the tools commonly used in today's world, according to Education World, a website for educators. On the other hand, it is sometimes challenging to find technology-based lessons that are appropriate for children in primary schools.

How Technology Teaches
Research by Dr. Bruce D. Perry, an international brain-development expert, shows that most people prefer to learn visually, for example by watching videos, films and movies. Young children in particular have a strong preference for learning this way. For this reason, computers can be an effective way to teach young children.

Perry notes that too much technology, however, is a bad thing. Technology requires children to interact with a machine instead of others. Children need to interact with others to become well-developed socially, emotionally and cognitively, according to Perry.

Using Social Media
Social-media websites such as Twitter can play a role in technology education for primary schools. Some educators believe using Twitter or creating blogs in the classroom can help encourage students to read and write, according to the Independent, a United Kingdom newspaper. Critics, however, strongly caution that these skills should not take the place of traditional reading and writing exercises.

Creative Technology
Technology can provide a creative outlet for primary-grade students. For example, students can use technology to learn about art history on the Internet and hone their own art skills. One way to do this is through lessons using computer-art programs such as Microsoft Paint or Photoshop. Students can use computer software to learn how to fill in objects with color, for example. To take it a step further, students can use their critical-thinking skills to complete worksheets or discuss color and shading, according to the website for TechnoKids, an educational software developer.

Not Just Computers
Technology in the classroom is typically computer-based, but it can involve more than computers. Primary-age students might use video cameras or digital cameras to document a field trip or make a classroom report, for example. Even GPS (global positioning systems) technology can be used to spark discussions about geography.






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