Is Technology Helping or Hurting in the Classroom?
The world is changing into a place where anything can be accessed by anyone with just the press of a button. For this reason, people are justifiably excited about the advancements made by technology in recent years. This eagerness does not escape the classroom, so many educators have been using computers and tablets as learning tools for students. However, a number of people have voiced concerns about the negative side-effects technology could impose on students. Every day, enough opinions are released about this topic to send anyone’s head spinning. It is important to observe both sides of this argument before a conclusion can be met. Applying technology to schools provides many students with useful skills, but it can also have undesirable effects on children and young adults.
The switch to technological assignments and lessons in schools has provided a great deal of benefits. A major positive impact is that using technology in the classroom provides students with a firm grasp of skills that are necessary to leading a successful life. This idea was analyzed by Dr. Saro Mohammad, who stated, “We are seeing that students and families from privileged backgrounds are able to make choices about technology use that maximize its benefits and minimize its risks, while students and families from marginalized backgrounds do not have opportunities to make the same informed choices” (The Brookings Institution).
Not having a basic understanding of technology is detrimental to anyone living in this day-and-age. Since technology has a central part of most activities in recent years, people who do not have the opportunity to educate themselves about the digital world are at a severe disadvantage. If public schools provided all students with technological devices, as well as with the knowledge of how to use these devices responsibly, students would become more able to adapt to a world where this knowledge is necessary than they ever could have been without the right resources. This theory is proved by Dr. Mohammad in another statement, explaining the results of multiple studies on this topic, “increased access to technology in school was associated with improved proficiency with, and increased use of, technology overall.”
Clearly, the implementation of technology in schools has resulted in providing many students with a necessary understanding of the digital world. With this knowledge, students can feel confident when applying for jobs online, communicating to others online, and educating themselves through the use of the internet. Receiving the opportunity to learn more about technology allows students to succeed in a world that relies heavily on it. Evidently, using tech in the classroom has tremendous positive effects that cannot be ignored.
While using technology in schools can often be good for students, some effects of a computerized classroom are less positive. Often, it is observed that too much time spent on technology has undesirable effects on young children and teens, whose brains are still developing. An article written by Dhruvin Patel explains, “all types of technology can actually have negative effects on children when used in excess, because they lower children’s frequency of interacting with their peers. This makes it more difficult for them to pick up on social cues and develop meaningful relationships with others” (Thrive Global).
The overuse of technology is clearly a significant problem. The ability to hold a face-to-face conversation is absolutely necessary, and it is evident that many frequent interactions with technology make it more difficult to perform well in any social situation. This issue is made especially difficult when taking into consideration the easy distraction that technology provides. To many people, the online world is an addictive escape from the complex challenges of the “real” world. This means that, by requiring students to use technology to do assignments, schools would be encouraging students to spend more time on their devices, when this is often the opposite of what modern students actually need. Students become so dependent on technology that they are disoriented in situations where technology cannot be used. Therefore, it can be argued that technology should not be used in schools.
Evidently, the use of technology in education can impact students for better or for worse. Because technology is unavoidable in this day and age, it is simply illogical to dismiss the use of technology altogether. Students must learn to use technology with moderation and balance. They should be able to use technology when it is required, but they should not depend on technology so greatly that they are not able to function without it. In the classroom, students benefit from using the internet to learn in addition to having discussions or observing tactile models of what they are learning. The bottom line is that technology should be integrated into schools with care. This is the best way for students to develop every skill that they need in order to have success in the future.