If you’re a parent, you might be behind the curve when it comes to using technology. My three year old grandson knows more about apps than I do. My six year old grandson is constantly saying things like, “Let’s google it”, or when I get lost, he asks, “Why didn’t you use Waze?”. There’s no question that technology is woven throughout the fabric of our lives.
I can’t even imagine what my grandchildren’s lives will be like in high school and college as technology becomes more and more available and user-friendly as a tool for education. But at what price? Adults growing up in a non-technology world notice a few key elements in education that might be missing with the introduction of technology:
- The written word on paper is becoming extinct. Perhaps this is an out of date method of communication but the computer has replaced hand-written papers and essays. What does this mean? If a student can’t read cursive, how will she be able to read historical documents? Since everything is stored online or in the cloud, what happens to history when these things are compromised or crashed?
- No need to learn or remember simple math skills. Most children today have no idea how to solve problems without a calculator. They can’t count change without the cash register telling them how to do it. Basic math skills and techniques aren’t being absorbed by students because they have the fallback of technology.
- It negates real social interaction and communication. Just observe a group of students. Every one of them is on a smartphone or some sort of electronic device. They even text one another in the group. Eye contact is not met. There is no real-life social interaction or communication. Take away the device and they don’t know how to communicate.
- It discourages problem solving. Every answer to every question can be found online. There’s no need to find a creative way to solve a problem. Someone else has done it and posted it on YouTube.
- It causes distractions. Technology can be distracting. For instance, you are working on your homework, doing a Google search and something catches your eye. It takes you down a rabbit hole and 30 minutes later you still haven’t completed your homework.
But in spite of all of these negative factors, technology is here to stay. It’s a part of our lives and is working its way into the classroom. Educators are looking for ways to integrate technology with education. In a recent article on Studypool, experts, including myself, weighed in on Technology in the Classroom:
“Technology and education don’t have to be at odds with one another. In fact, technology can enhance lessons and classroom experiences, engaging students with the materials and instilling a passion for learning that will carry through long after they have moved on to the next stage in their lives. That doesn’t have to mean integrating every single “new and improved” tool that crosses your path, but it does mean that educators need to be students themselves, always learning more about the tools being introduced so thoughtful, meaningful technological tools that enhance today’s experience can be used appropriately at every grade level.”