A/N I wrote this essay for a class that I had to take in order to get into a college level English class this school year. This essay set me up for the test that I had to take, which involved writing an essay.
I passed, and now I'll be taking a college level English class, and I'll earn college credits. Yay me! ^u^
What if you could take out your phone in the middle of class, look up information on what is being discussed, and put it away without being reprimanded? If technology could be allowed in classrooms, it would be beneficial to the students, as long as they use the technology responsibly. Now imagine this : you are sitting in class, and most of the students around you are daydreaming or falling asleep. The teacher drones on and on in a monotone voice, teaching something that was promised to be "an exciting lesson" but was proven to be completely boring. Sounds familiar? Would it not be better for the teacher to make sure that everyone was paying attention? It would be best if everyone was hooked on the lesson at hand. That's when technology comes in. Class would be boring if all the students had to do was sit, listen, and write. With technology (such as laptops or a smart board) the students will be more interested in the lesson and will actually pay attention. This is why technology and entertainment are necessary in classrooms. Even though Mark Edmundson and Cathy Davidson take two different approaches to the use of technology and entertainment in classrooms, they are actually in agreement about the important idea that entertainment and technology in classrooms are not needed. This common ground becomes clear when one reads their articles.
In his article, Edmundson writes about the reason he teaches. "I don't teach to amuse, to divert, or even, for that matter, to be merely interesting" (Edmundson, pg 2). Even if you don't teach to entertain, entertainment should still be incorporated into your lessons. Student's might not be able to concentrate if they are not enjoying themselves. Davidson writes in her article about young students learning to read and write. "They were playing games in 3-D multimedia, learning to read and write not through schoolbooks but as they played games online" (Davidson, pg 63). The fact that children are learning to read and write through online gaming shows that the use of technology in class would be both rewarding and entertaining. Teachers would be able to use their knowledge of the internet as a way to catch their students attention as they teach. With everyone paying attention, the pupils would not only learn but remember what they learned.
Furthermore, we can see that students will always want entertainment. Mark Edmundson talks about this on the seventh page of his article. "What students and their parents wanted had to be taken more and more into account. That usually meant creating more comfortable, less challenging environments, places where almost no one failed, everything was enjoyable, and everyone was nice." Students will always want to enjoy themselves. If their class, their professor, and/or the college itself is too boring, they won't pay attention, and they won't learn. This is why colleges make sure to tell students that they will have the best time of their lives if they go to a specific school. In her article, Davidson spoke about how everyone in the school was given an IPod, and how it benefited those using it. "Because everyone had the device, sound suddenly had a new educational role in our text - and visuals dominated classroom culture" (pg 66). If students are able to use technology in class, they can have an easier and more efficient studying method than just writing and reading over notes. For some people, that style of studying does not work. These people can study with podcasts and all kinds of apps, right at their fingertips.
Finally, we see that when students don't like their teacher, they end up overpowering them. This is shown in Edmundson's article. "A sure result of the universities widening elective leeway is to give students more power over their teachers...If the clientele does not like you en masse, you can be left without students, period" (pg 7). While it may seem harsh that some professors may end up with no pupils, we have to look at the student's point of view. A student will feel overwhelmed if they have to take a class with a strict, boring, and "not fun" teacher. Therefore, being able to choose what teacher they want will save students the trouble of being so overtaken with work that they will be unable to enjoy themselves. Cathy Davidson talks about two different ways of getting information (through the internet and books) and how both are helpful. "We don't need a "better or worse" because we have both, and both are potentially rich and fascinating cognitive activities" (pg 70). Because we have both the internet and books as a ways to find information, both can be used. Either way of gathering info can be made fun, and can therefore help students to learn.
Schools, teachers, and students would all benefit from the use of technology and entertainment during class. A teacher should entertain their class, no matter the reason they teach. Teachers should use technology to the best of their ability. In order to make sure the class is paying attention, teachers should make sure that their lesson is not boring. Teachers should make sure to be entertaining to the students if they want the pupils to learn, and if they want students in the first place. And books can be just as fun as technology, and can be used just as effectively. If teachers truly teach for the purpose of helping others learn, they should make sure to be as entertaining as possible.