Technology Use Expands in Schools; Towers Still Unwelcome

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In Des Moines, Iowa a growing number of classrooms are using online resources to study from and even take exams, according to USA Today. Teachers have begun incorporating technology into their daily lessons in order to keep students engaged and interest them in what’s being taught. USA Today reported, “American youths between the ages of 8 and 18 on average spend more than twice as much time with high-tech screens each year as they spend in school, according to national research.” Even though technology is expanding at a rapid rate throughout schools, the infrastructure that supports it is not. Many communities are still against putting towers on or near school grounds due to possible health concerns. But if using mobile technology in the classroom is the way of the future, then something will have to change. According to USA Today, “Nearly half of Iowa’s 346 K-12 school districts now assign students laptop or tablet computers for use at home and in the classroom. Results of a national survey released last year show that 51% of all high school students have smartphones.” “If you have a smartphone, it’s like you always have a study buddy,” said William Wiborg, 14, an East High School ninth-grader. “You can pull it out and do whatever you need to do.”

While some may believe this growing use of technology is a good thing, there are parents who would disagree simply because of the towers that are needed to support this technology. In Anne Arundel County, Maryland a group of parents formed the Anne Arundel County Against Cell Towers at Schools with the sole purpose to prevent towers from being built on school property or near it. This group is anti-tower because of possible health concerns and the chance that the structures could affect property values. Using technology enhances the learning experience for these children. French teacher, Angela Palmersheim, created online flashcards including French verbs and their English translations. The digital study guide is available 24 hours a day and includes audio files to help students. “Since it speaks the word to you, it helps you with how to pronounce it,” said Vivian Ordaz, 15, an East High ninth-grader. (Source: USA Today) Technology is becoming a staple in many aspects of our lives and many of us wouldn’t know how to conduct business or find directions to the closest supermarket without it. Sooner or later, we’ll need to enhance our wireless infrastructure in order to keep up with this demand.

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