Learning and Technology: Friends Yet Enemies

In the post-industrial society we live in today, technology seemingly overruns our lives. From working a stressful job to relaxing on the couch, technology is at the core of everything we do. This stands true for school as well; in fact it is especially prominent in the lives of students. In order for them to write essays or blogs, they need computers and internet. To research for a project, they also need a computer. Although it’s never been officially stated, technology is now a requirement for a successful education and learning experience.

Technology is very useful for students, and is one of the most important tools available to them, if not the most important. Computers provide rapid information with little to no cost or time investment, whereas using a dictionary or encyclopedia would take a good amount of time to pull out and look through. This is very helpful for students that are taking a heavy course load since they need all the time they can get to work.

Photo @2013 by Mervi Eskelinen [CC by 2.0]

Photo @2013 by Mervi Eskelinen [CC by 2.0]

However, this also means that schools have adjusted accordingly. In the past, teachers couldn’t expect students to be able to accomplish as much in one night as they do nowadays. Back in the 70’s, for example, students only had the resources provided to them, such as a textbook, and their minds. There was no quick “Google Search” to solve the problems they had. This also meant that teachers had to make sure assignments were clear and understood in class, in addition to providing the students with the means of accomplishing the task in class. Today, though, teachers can simply say “The homework is online” and that would be the end of it, not to mention they can update an assignment online if they described it incorrectly in class. This is a good thing, but it’s also a way for teachers to slack off. Because of the recent technological advantages students have, schools have been adjusting course loads greatly, adding much more homework and requirements to the average student’s schedule. This initially seems fair, but it does not account for the fact that students have a lot less free time than they did in the past.

Technology can also be a disadvantage for students due to its distracting and entertaining nature. When researching for a paper, students often use sites that feature distracting advertisements. One click leads to another, and before they know it, half an hour has gone by. This also applies to Facebook, where students ask each other for homework help and assignment questions.

All in all, technology is one of the most useful things ever created for learning and communication. Unfortunately, though, it has its downsides, such as laziness and distractions. If we can work together as a society to remove distractions from technology while schoolwork is supposed to be done, the education system will work much more efficiently.

– Bryan Clements

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