How Technology Should Be Used in the Classroom

Amy Adamle
Created: September 11, 2018 09:04 AM

Whether it's laptops, tablets, or cell phones, technology is everywhere and students are seeing them more and more in school.


Chery Lucarelli, a Professor and Chair of Graduate Education Programs at the College of St. Scholastica with years of experience working with teachers and how they use technology, said how digital devices are used in the classroom varies.  

"Some schools have one-to-one devices, where every child has a device, and some teachers are struggling a little bit more with access and may have to go to a computer lab," Lucarelli said.  

According to Lucarelli, the benefits are multi-fold. 

"The benefit of technology exists in that area of where we can transform learning," Lucarelli said. 

"When I took a math class, sometimes I'd get home and I couldn't remember how to solve a problem that the teacher had taught me," Lucarelli said. "Well some teachers are able to integrate what they call a flipped classroom model, where they're videoing themselves teaching a concept and then the child has access to that video later and can replay that part that they're struggling with." 

She said that's just one way in which it can transform learning.  

Lucarelli also believes it's important people realize technology is a new literacy.  

"We want to integrate that in school so we are creating kids that are information literate, tech-savvy, confident, when they graduate and they're ready for new learning opportunities, or to work in our new economy," Lucarelli said.  

Technology use in the classroom does differ between ages and grades.  

In classrooms with younger kids, Lucarelli said they might be using apps to work on math fluency or learning how to read.  Older kids might be collaborating or working on a project together, and technology allows them to do that. 

"We don't have to email a paper back and forth to each other, we can work together," Lucarelli said.

Teachers also face some challenges and Lucarelli said she hears two big problems most often, access and trying to keep up with all the tools.

"Something I encourage teachers to do is maybe choose a couple students in the classroom who can become your tech experts and learn a tool and be part of the learning community and learn with your students," Lucarelli said.

For parents who might have concerns about technology use in the classroom, Lucarelli said it's important they look for the quality of use.

"Are kids being asked to create things with technology or just consume?" Lucarelli said.  "If kids are just being asked to go out on the internet and look for resources, that's an important skill, but I would argue that's not enough. Research tells us kids learn fast when kids are creating."

 Whether they're creating a product or making an app that solves a problem, Lucarelli said those are ways in which it's meaningful use.


Amy Adamle

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