Technology and the At-Risk Student

May 30, 2008 at 10:00 pm | Posted in education, technology in education | 1 Comment

Teachers may find that their students’ interest in education is waning, which can be detrimental in an inner-city setting. At-risk students have the highest dropout rate, as we all know, so it is crucial that we keep students engaged and active. Technology can be a very effective way to keep at-risk students interested in their studies.

When it comes to the type of technology used within the classroom, computers are often preferable to televisions. This is because televisions offer only a passive experience, whereas students can interact with computer technology. The problem with this, of course, it the cost of outfitting each classroom with even one computer, let alone enough for each student.

Inner city schools often lack the funding necessary to really integrate technology with traditional education. However, teachers who can bring a computer into the classroom experience should definitely be taking advantage of free, open source software. Such software is readily available to the public and serves as a great alternative to expensive, commercial software.

If you would like to pursue a blended curriculum that integrates cutting-edge technology with traditional instruction, I recommend the Open Source Education Foundation Website. There, you will find many resources for free software that is designed for a classroom setting. SourceForge.net is also a great place to find open source software of all kinds.

Integrating technology with classroom instruction helps inner city children in two ways. One, it keeps children active in their learning, giving them the ability to hone their problem-solving skills firsthand. The other way technology improves the classroom experience is by giving children technological skills that will help them in the future. It is the digital age, after all, and most adults depend on computers every day.

© 2008 Heather Johnson.

By-line:

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who is an industry critic on the subject of university reviews. She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

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  1. Some examples of useful software might be helpful here. The links to sourceforge as well as the OSF are very broad, as they have all kinds of software that is not related to a classroom experience.

    Could you provide examples of how you’ve used some open source software solutions to do as you claim:

    “Technology can be a very effective way to keep at-risk students interested in their studies.”


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