Eye of the Editors: Technology Integration

The school has various technological resources such as Chromebooks and iPads, yet these devices are not utilized enough in classrooms.

With carts full of Chromebooks and numerous iPads, it is no secret that Diamond Bar High School is highly equipped with state-of-the-art tools necessary for a technology-centered learning experience. However, this brings up the question of whether or not we are fully utilizing this expensive equipment. Many teachers are actively seeking to promote technology in the classroom but the majority of instructors neglect the resources our school has purchased.

Even in middle school, having a good understanding of technology is essential to do well. At Chaparral Middle School, some teachers assign work on Google Classroom, a suite filled with tools like Gmail, Docs and Drive. This allows teachers to create and collect assignments paper-free as well as enabling students to manage homework with the click of a button. The Google Drive feature is a powerful tool for aiding in collaboration on projects while allowing the teacher to monitor each student’s work. Though all students at DBHS have created school-wide Google accounts last year, these Google accounts are not being fully utilized in the classroom.

The iPads are another tool that have not been fully utilized at DBHS. History classes see the use of iPads in collaboration with an app like Show Me, a recorded voice-over whiteboard tutorial in which students can present on a certain topic. Very few teachers are promoting the use of this very costly technology, leading some students to be completely unaware that our school even owns class sets of iPads for use. In a study conducted by KIPP Academy in Houston, TX, the percentage of students who rated either proficient or advanced was 49% higher in “flipped” classrooms that used iPads than in customary classrooms with no iPads.

Utilizing technology is beneficial to students, but also for the environment. Online textbooks can eliminate the heavy paper textbooks that not only add physical weight to backpacks but also add environmental stress to the ever-increasing carbon footprint. It is too costly to consistently buy the most updated version of every textbook, yet transitioning to paperless textbooks will allow a new version, that is also a cheaper alternative, to be instantly downloaded at the click of a button.
With the transition to a technology-centered classroom, students will need the proper training to adapt to this. Though IC3 is a useful course covering the basics of technology, it should be extended to a full year-long class to equip students with as much information as possible in this technology-orientated world. It is not reasonable to assume that all students have equal knowledge in technology; a year-long course will ensure that they are receiving the information they need to survive not only in school, but also in the workplace.

According to the U.S. News & World Report, jobs in computer science and information technology are among the top 10 careers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also states that technology will add more than 785,000 new jobs by 2018.

In an age where being tech savvy is not considered an asset but a necessary skill, it is only fitting to allow students to be fully immersed with technology in the classroom. DBHS excels at preparing students for college, but there are improvements that can be made in fully utilizing the technological resources we have been provided with. The faculty should better prepare students to meet the demands of an increasingly technological society and conform to the future.