Use of Technology in Classrooms for Simple and Complex Functions

Rachel C. Lees

As educational technology stands today, there is a heavy push for the usage of technology in classrooms for both simple and complex functions.

Standpoint 1: Technology is a wonderful tool for expanding students’ grasp outside the classroom and into new worlds. It can make tasks easier and it can take a lot of the manual drudgery out of everyday tasks that can free teachers up for what really matters: the substance of the lesson and the conceptual mastery.

Standpoint 2: If we integrate technology into the “manual drudgery” of classroom tasks, isn’t there a risk that students will lose their most basic skills or, worse yet, not develop them at all? For example, why should students use the dictionary or thesaurus when they can easily find those on websites? Why should they learn spelling and grammar when the “spell check” does it for them?

For Discussion: Wouldn’t it only be dwelling on archaic, outdated lessons if we pushed for the use of “analog/book” technology? Why would teaching these skills be necessary? After all, we had to give up one-room schoolhouses at some point. If we are truly moving into the age when the computer dominates our basic skills, are we doing ourselves a service or a disservice?

About the Author
Rachel Lees recently graduated from Ithaca College with a B.A. in English and minors in Classical Studies and Art History. She’s currently earning a Master’s degree in childhood education and pursuing teaching certification in first through sixth grades. When asked to briefly describe herself Rachel stated, “I’m from a military family in New England, and I live in Ithaca now with a cat and a lot of books on my shelves.”

Published by


Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

4 thoughts on “Use of Technology in Classrooms for Simple and Complex Functions”

  1. Like the comments above I am not leaning to either standpoint. I believe that implementing technology successfully would have to be done with caution.
    I believe that technology can be a great tool for enrichment purposes. With so many wonderful already furnished resources on the web it will be a shame not to take advantage of them. I think that they can be very useful to both students and teachers in math. Being such an abstract field for most students, it would be useful to help students visualize notions and show them more applications. I think it can be a motivating factor for students to learn independently topic of interest to them.
    On the flip side, I hardly think that technology should be used as a substitute for learning basic skills. Yes, there could be faster ways to do things, but I do not think it is efficient to do so in the long run. It is important to know how to do the basics without technology. Some topics require a lot of practice to build the needed intuition particularly in math. How else would we be able to tell whether the technology works properly and actually gives us what we think it should. I so often see students not catching even basic mistakes while using technology incorrectly. It is a shame…
    As long as we think carefully when to use the technology, we are not running any risks of failing to see the big picture.

  2. In regards to both standpoints and recent commetary, I feel that both have specfic relevance to the uses of technology at both the elementary and secondary education levels. In particular, I feel that the development and integration of technology must be looked upon for their connectivity between levels, in which educators adapt their technology use based upon the students’ previous instruction.

    Looking into the second point, we look to question how much technological integration we must use for utilities, such as the ease of computation, spelling, and so forth. As a foundation of our educational system throughout its existence these aformentioned utilities have been a staple of education, especially in elementary learning. Thus, I may question how much reliance we may vest in the use of technology to alleviate the needs for this type of education. Mainly, the concept of standpoint 2 seems to come down to the value of our ability to utilize basic skills without the uses of technological supports to help us. I believe that we must still be able to function without these supports until tecnology becomes more prevalent.

    Overall, I feel that the first viewpoint seems an accurate summation of how technologies are being intergrated in the classroom, as well as how they are looking to be integrated by new teachers and their own educators. As educators, we have established and integrated our use of technology in the classroom because of its prevalence in students futures. However, technology should not be used exclusively as substitute for edcuation skills, even with the progressive nature of technology.

  3. Your view on standpoint 1 is right on. I agree, with all of this. I am now learning so many different ways to intergrate technology into the classroom. If I knew all of these ways before it could have been very beneficial. Students should be learning this technology as well. The oly thing we need to be careful with is using technology too much. Sometimes, teachers try and use computers when it is not necessary. When this happens, students view it as game time instead of learning time. On the otherhand, some of the programs can be integrated in the classroom and give students a whole new look material. For example, as Pat stated some of the graphing programs they have released are wonderful tools to get studetns thinking.

    I think it is very important not to lost book learning and technology. This is the key to a strong foundation. A student needs to learn how the basic’s work before they put it into motion. It also aloows students to become critical thinkers. Some of the best learning is done by book work and the teacher-student interaction. I feel if computers took over then we would be losing a lot. There is no replacement for the teacher in the classroom

  4. I think that both of these standpoints are quite valid. I think it is important for students to use the technology available to them in its apporpriate form. I have found many useful programs on my computer that, had I known and had available to me during certain classes, would certainly have enhanced my understanding of the material. Once quick example on this is a graphing software on my new mac that I discovered one day. This software lets you type in any function imaginable, and look at it from different angles by clicking on the graph and moving one’s mouse. It graphs in both 2D and 3D. When taking Calc III in my undergrad, such a program would have been wonderful to acually see what was happening and what the end product looked like.

    However, as with the second standpoint, it is essential to educate students on traditional items. The mention of the dictionary/ thesaurus sparked another, more recent memory. My sisters recently visited me and while here, made fun of and questioned my possession of a dictionary and thesaurus in my room. My youngest sister asked, “why do you need these, the computer will just do it for you?” I know perfectly well that both my sisters know how to use a thesaurus and dictionary, bu still, their questioning of the books’ need made me think. I wondered if, on an elementary level, if students did not bother to use a physical dicitonary, than would items such as alphabetical order become difficult concepts to understand? This is just a quick question, but here, I think is it necessary to work with the old before introducing the new. As with my previous example, the graphing software had great potential, however, had I never learned to recognize functions and graph them on my own, I would never have understood the concepts as well (or probably done well on my tests for that matter).

Comments are closed.