Essay: What Role Should Techology Play in Education?

What role should technology play in education?  That’s quite a big question for any one person to answer.  But if you are Jaclyn Rauthe of Flathead High School (Kalispell, MT), then you do so with ease.  Jaclyn’s essay on the topic won her the 2013 Black Mountain Software $500 Higher Education Scholarship.

After careful (blind) review of over 150 submittals, BMS chose Jaclyn’s essay as the winner of the scholarship, based on her answer to the question, “What role should technology play (if any) in the education of yourself, your siblings, or in the future, your own children?” We wanted to share her award-winning entry with you:

Throughout history, we have seen how education is affected by technology. I personally believe it can greatly enhance the quality of education for everyone. Simple technological advances such as a calculator have greatly increased the speed and accuracy of mathematical problems. This allows students to learn more of the curriculum in a shorter period of time. Another example is the use of Smart Boards. Recently, I have seen how teachers are able to give demonstrations faster and more visually appealing to the students without using time erasing and spending money on whiteboard markers. There are more than enough examples of how technology has affected the speed and quality of education; however, I will share how technology has personally played a role in school.

As an International Baccalaureate student, I have spent a countless number of nights writing lengthy papers and doing research on specific people or events. With computer technology, my writing skills have increased as well as the ability to make simple changes without handwriting the paper all over again. Also, with the help of online resources such as JSTOR, EBSCO, and Google Scholars, I am able to find useful as well as reliable information without searching for hours in books. E-mail has also allowed me to communicate quickly with teachers if I have a question on an assignment as well as proving helpful information if I must be absent from school. Fore example, many schools now give students the opportunity to keep track of their grades online, and I even have a few teachers with their own websites for their assignments and requirements. Even though I’ve had moments of complete frustration with computers, printers, etc., I know my educational quality would not be the same without it.

Being an older sibling, I also see how technology plays a role with younger students. For example, my younger brother doesn’t even own a math book! Most of their assignments are actually done on specific computer software. My mother has also recently finished college as a MSU nursing student and didn’t have to step foot on the campus once. With satellite technology, she was able to take care of her family here in Kalispell while receiving a degree in Bozeman. Without technology, my mother would not have been able to have the career she does today.

Altogether, I am excited to see how technology plans a role in our future generations and to see if it continues to benefit education among students. I fully believe technology is an important aspect to how we learn, and it should always play a positive role to education. Without it, our educational advances would not be where they stand presently.

Congratulations, Jaclyn.  We are proud and excited to have students like you as part of the future workforce.

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