Technology and education

 Avramit Katsnelson, Class of 2012, was inspired to write this editorial after reading an article in the December  2010 issue of Philadelphia Magazine

In the past several decades, technology has advanced in a way few thought possible.  From Google and iPhones to texting and Facebook, there are a variety of resources at one’s disposal to find information, contact friends, and share ideas.  However, the question that has been arising more and more frequently is what effect this technology is having on the efficacy of education in this country.

There was a time when students did not have advanced calculators to aid them in solving problems and, thus, had to memorize tables of values ranging from the basic multiplication table to trigonometric functions.  There was also a time when students did not have the Internet to turn to when writing research papers: They actually had to sit down and look through large books to find the information they needed.  Although technology has been a tremendous help in making the education process less strenuous for students, I believe it has also enabled students to be lazy and has weakened their reading and writing skills.

In general, students do not put the work they used to into their assignments.  With all the technology available, the goal seems to be to finish assignments as quickly and easily as possible.  With online translators, for instance, many students do not put as much effort into their foreign language homework as they should.  Instead of taking the time to sit and learn the grammatical rules of the language, they rely on the Internet to do the work for them.  Furthermore, when it comes to writing, many students do not bother to learn to write correctly because they know that as soon as they type their work into a word document, the spell checker will correct their mistakes.  This not only encourages laziness and weakens writing skills, but it renders students unable to learn more complex information in the future because they are not laying the groundwork in high school.

Many, myself included, believe certain sites on the Internet are also weakening students’ reading skills.  This is because students enter sites, such as Facebook, that expose them to writing with texting abbreviations and poor grammar.  After becoming accustomed to this, along with the multitasking that is often part of texting, students find it difficult to sit through long readings full of words that they are too lazy to look up in a dictionary.

Basically, students are not learning as much as they used to because in the age of technology, they are letting technology do all the work.  Modern students depend too much on technology to the point that many do not even bother taking notes in class anymore, but photograph the notes with their iPhones!  (Taking notes is a process that helps students learn the information better, so taking a picture of the notes relinquishes students of an effective memory aid.)  It’s no wonder that people are beginning to seriously think about artificial intelligence: For many students, machines do most of the thinking already!

To see the article that inspired this piece, check out this link:  stupid

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One Comment to “Technology and education”

  1. I could not agree more, it seems that more and more our educational system depends on technology to save the day. This dependence on technology is pushed from the highest levels. I honestly think sometimes superintendents would be happy if I put a tie on my computer and let it try to teach. Nothing can take the place of the human interaction that should take place during meaningful instruction.

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