Staples and Microsoft team up; survey on classroom technology

business woman touching virtual screen, pushing icon on media

Technology focusing on education has resulted in one of the largest changes in how we teach and learn in the classroom. This is why both policy makers and companies actively engage in supporting technology in the classroom.

For many years, we have debated the various benefits and issues of introducing technology into the classroom and how it affects the way students interact with the teacher and with each other. While pairing technology with education can improve accessibility for students, experiment in interactive education and further engage students, it can also distract students and can be hard to monitor and ensure security.

Today’s students are digital natives. They have been raised with technology and therefore, it is a critical part of how students interact with the world. However, classroom engagement is at an all-time low with teachers finding it hard to engage students due to the distraction of digital devices.  Therefore, it is vital to improve engagement through the use of digital devices through education.

This is why Canadian schools have been embracing cutting edge technology at an increasing rate. Educators are learning how to use technology in the classroom to both engross and stimulate students. To help shine a light on this leading trend, Staples Canada has partnered with Microsoft to unveil the A+ School Ready in an attempt to help both parents and their children utilize technology.

Technology has become increasingly more important in further education which is apparent with 85 per cent of Canadians believing that students should be introduced to leading edge technology in the classroom according to a survey conducted by Lerger on behalf of Staples Canada. Technology in the classroom provides many opportunities which previously weren’t available. Many students who suffer from either physical or learning disabilities can use technology in the classroom to help progress at a faster rate.

Staples also found that 65 per cent of parents who have high school children indicated their child would be bringing a technological device to school with 31 per cent of parents with elementary school children indicating the same.  Which is why Canadian parents, Staples is “absolutely convinced that technology has a permanent place in our classrooms,” a press release stated.

However, there are concerns regarding welcoming technology into education with 32 per cent of surveyed parents worrying that it can’t be controlled or correctly structured, 26 per cent of parents being concerned about security issues and 19 per cent afraid of the devices being used inappropriately,, without proper governing. While there are understandable doubts regarding the security of devices in classrooms, three out of four parents believe schools are incorporating technology in the classroom in a satisfactory way, though many do not understand it fully.

With 40 per cent of those surveyed believing that technology in the classroom could pose a distraction to students. Many professors and teachers find that students can become easily distracted and spend more time looking at their devices instead of listening to the lecture. Furthermore, without proper restrictions in the classrooms students can use the school Internet to browse unrelated websites.

It’s important to note that being a digital native is more than simply acknowledging the digital world around you. Instead it is about having a deep understanding of how to interact and engage with students utilizing devices that they are comfortable with. Through creating information presentation, you can highlight to students how to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate websites or sources.

Additionally, it is important to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate devices to use within the classroom which is why to highlight this embrace of tech, Staples has partnered with Microsoft to launch the A+ School Ready program that helps parents and students leverage the power of the latest technology, while minimizing the downside.

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