The use of gadgets in the classroom

ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star

Most recently, Senate Bill 2706 or the Electronic Gadget-Free Schools Act was filed by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian which seeks to prohibit the use of mobile devices and electronic gadgets in schools during class hours.

The bill mandates the Department of Education to establish guidelines for the prohibition of gadgets which covers learners from kindergarten to senior high school in both public and private institutions, as well as teachers, citing the negative impacts on the learning outcomes, including the prevalence of cyber bullying.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte agreed with the Senate bill with some exceptions, especially when gadgets are used for learning and teaching.

Looking closely into the subject matter at hand, firstly, it is important to note what gadgets are often able to provide in the classroom in the context of resource. Nowadays, information is more available than we can ever imagine as compared to the past generations and gadgets can, more often than not, easily store a multiple amount of data which makes it easier for students to access information, hence giving them a wide range of resources. While methodology and pedagogy go hand in hand, gadgets enable learners to engage with interactive materials, which makes the learning process more interesting.

The use of gadgets in the classroom has been seen as both positive and negative, where a balance between motivation and addiction is often observed. This is why it is important for both parents and teachers to be equally trained in the use of gadgets in order for them to provide the necessary guidance and ensure productivity in the classroom.

In today’s world, no one can truly escape the advancement of technology, which is why it needs to be integrated in the classroom through proper information management that will help learners to access, organize and analyze the information they are receiving.

Balance is required in the navigation of information through the use of gadgets as one must look at how the educational process is being developed in order to guarantee that certain skills are developed and that academic procrastination is avoided as tasks need to be completed and learners need to remain focused.

Let’s also remember that multiple intelligences can provide better insight when it comes to technology as teachers also need to know how students are coping with technology through the use of devices that they are familiar with in their everyday lives. Multiple intelligences also help us understand learning techniques that become useful through the many learning devices that should help learners in developing many areas of knowledge, including their problem-solving abilities.

Not all students learn the same way and not all students enjoy the same topics; however, technology and the use of gadgets can encourage learners to develop new ways of learning about diverse topics through creativity and collaboration. The use of gadgets in the classroom is all about learning how to make educational technology work for both the teacher and the student.

While some may think that technology is just a distraction (and it could be), using technology responsibly can help encourage more active participation in the classroom. As for multiple intelligences, technology can help teachers help students demonstrate their learning in their own way without missing out on the context of their lessons.

One of the most valuable lessons learners can develop inside the classroom is the ability to collaborate and help others in the learning process. Technology can further enhance this process through technology-based tasks done in such a way that peer-to-peer support is highlighted.

As part of Generation X where many of us can jokingly brag about our lives prior to the internet and at the same time completely submerge in so much technology, there’s certainly no denying that our children need to be prepared for the future, thus making educational technology more valuable for their lives.

There will be both critics and lovers of technology and both the pros and cons will always be presented in relation to this topic. It all depends on how we look at the tool in front of us.

As parents, we rely heavily on our children’s cell phones to communicate with one another as it gives us a little more peace of mind. However, we also fear who they could possibly be communicating with that could potentially be a threat to their lives.

When gauging gadgets, we must learn to weigh things and one of the best ways to ensure responsible use of gadgets is through digital literacy and the crucial skills obtained from it to fully safeguard the use of digital devices and making it worthwhile.

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