Background of Technology in Education
Over the past decade, many new technologies have been developed that have changed the way we live. Many of these same technologies have been finding their way into America's classrooms. These technologies promise to change the way we educate in a similar manner that they have changed the way we do business. Most schools are still designed for the industrial or even the agrarian era. These schools will have to change in order to prepare students for the future instead of the past. Although it may be hard to believe that technology could have such an effect on the education process, several years ago, "we had the same controversy whether the computer would transform work, and critics argued that all those investments were a waste (Symonds, 2000, pg. 118).
The idea of using technology to enhance education is not new. In 1971, Seymour Papert, a influential professor from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that every student should be given a computer in order to provide them with the kinds of experiences that teachers are seeking for their students (Online, 2000). Educators have moved with surprising speed to join the high-tech revolution. Some 95% of public schools are now connected to the internet compared to 35% in 1994. The computer to student ratio has also doubled since 1996 (Symonds, 2000). I intend to examine whether students benefit from the implementation of technology in education.
The Effect on Students of Technology in Education
New technologies that have recently been implemented in schools are definitely making headlines, but, the question remains: Are these new technologies actually making kids smarter, or are these new technologies just expensive new toys? In 1989, the schools in Union City, NJ., were among the worst in the nation. They failed in 44 of the 52 categories on the statewide school assessment test. The state officials warned the