The question of whether or not technology should be a part of learning in the 21st century is an outdated concern. Nearly 74% of teachers use some kind of technology in the classroom on a daily basis, and more than two-thirds of teachers desire more technology in the classroom.
Many schools agree: as more jobs of the future require computer skills, computers technology must be taught in the classroom as a required 21st century skill. As technology becomes more widely accepted in the classroom, new concerns have arisen which ask not if technology has a place, but rather how to make the most out of them now that they’re here. One concern is knowing when technology is superior to traditional learning materials. A question many educators ask to determine the value a piece of technology has is: “How does technology enhance comprehension and engagement for the students?” For example, a paperback book that is translated verbatim to a digital format is no more effective than it was in its original format. However, an electronic book that turns a flat image into an instructional video with the tap of a finger, pronounces a hard to read word, and ends with a game to test your comprehension could be more effective to a student than a book without.
Now that technology has flooded many schools, educators are also left to wonder if all technology is developmentally appropriate for all students. Just as a sixth-grade algebra textbook is ineffective in a first-grade math class, an iPad might be best used for independent study in a middle school class rather than a first-grade class.