Blog Post #8

Presentation software’s biggest advantages lie in its abilities to present information visually and efficiently, and to allow teachers to lecture/say what they want to say while giving students a way to take clear, precise notes. Slides, prezis, etc. are so quick and easy for teachers to use. The presentations can convey so much without consuming all of their creators’ free time, and they offer students so much more stimulation than lectures alone do. The fact students can use presentation software for their own projects quite easily also adds to the learning process. The biggest disadvantages lie in their repetitiveness (older students have seen thousands of slides) and in their distraction (younger students can find ways to daydream about the graphics, images, etc.) Presentation software will not work as a teaching tool for all students, especially those who don’t know how to take notes, are behind other classmates in reading skills, etc.
The digital divide is a valid issue in education, but I also believe that it will become less and less of a problem as time goes by. As someone who is on the digital side of technology, I see it overtaking more and more of our everyday lives, our classrooms, our social interactions, etc. I doubt poverty in America will ever be wiped out completely, so I doubt every student will have at-home access to the latest technology. Students living in poverty don’t have access to the same technology our majority has, but this problem only arises in certain schools and in certain classrooms where teachers are not conscious about the need. Virtually every school has a computer lab students can use for assignments, and teachers can always adjust their instructional techniques to fit the needs of their students.
•With all the experience we’ve had with different websites, smartboards, etc., I would love to see how these different technologies affect students’ learning when compared with other methods. Has research been done about this? What were the parameters? Which programs were used? What was the control group like? It’d be very interesting to see a study that compares different teaching methods rather than just teaching+extra time with technological programs.

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