Lately, technology additions in classrooms have focused on providing each student with his or her own laptop; for many schools, it’s become the new normal to issue every student a Chromebook. This has been a great step forward in advancing how students learn, with more interactive content on Google Classroom, video materials, and document sharing.
At the same time, the screen-focused atmosphere has stunted the growth of small-group collaboration in classrooms. Students are now heads-down at their own devices, instead of collaborating with their peers. Devices have allowed classroom technology to move forward, but to foster teamwork and collaboration, the integration of technology in education still needs to progress.
Technology must help students be more productive in the classroom, not only individually, but also with their peers and their teacher. Laptops alone cannot meet this need, which can have an impact on students’ development. According to SAGE Journals, “Policymakers and researchers see small-group work as a way to improve attitudes toward school, foster achievement, develop thinking skills, and promote interpersonal and intergroup relations.”
(Next page: How to improve collaboration)