Technology and Education: No Escape?

In this era, rapid technological growth is instrumental to our generation. Technology is viewed in a multitude of ways that are positive and negative. While many see technology as greatly beneficial, others believe this to be nothing more than a paradox that insights more problems. Although technology permits kids to make connections with others, some say the negatives heavily outweigh the positives. Before conforming to the “new world” of technology, it is integral that schools consider the negative aspects to technology and its useless capability to develop skills and creativity. It creates a lack of imagination in children as it brainwashes them with their readily available technology implemented in school curriculums.
Schools should look deeper into the fact that aside from technology being the “modern” and “new” method of education, it creates a deficiency of basic valued life skills. As a result, many children have become less cultured and “less intelligent”. According to Nicholas Carr, an American writer and finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, technology is instigating an “intellectual decay” in users’ brains. It’s a direct claim but one that he supports with his adequate findings from neuroscience. Children who merely play video games for long periods of time prove to be unproductive and develop, if anything, a lack of interest and loss of ability to do things that people once did WITHOUT technology. While it may seem like kids have the opportunity to utilize technology, it does not always yield benefits. The youth of this generation are slacking, in part, because of the “absent-mindedness” technology has created. Parents argue that if schools depend on technological advancements in their curriculums, they will soon fall behind due to the distraction that devices pose, in the classroom. Sixty nine percent of parents confess fearing that the career opportunities for their kids would be limited without proper IT skills. In coherence with the most basic degree of knowledge, mere textbooks allow for the development of reading skills and focusing abilities as well. Simple devices cannot just “replace” the once dependent sources of information.
The readily available access to these electronic devices stripped away students’ focus and drive. Others claim these electronics are “propaganda machines” that ensure short attention spans. Due to the massive power of technology, children on average spend about half as much time playing outside as their parents did at their age. Before being heavily consumed by technology and its convenience, it is vital that education systems reevaluate the possible hindering factors that technology presents. Such technological developments have proven to reduce child productivity, attentiveness, and imagination. This rush of technology is a lot to take in all at once, and implementing it in an educational environment prevents the standard methods of learning from being full-functioning. Schools need to consider an array of factors before utilizing certain technologies in curriculum and instruction.
Although a lot of people affirmatively agree that technology poses a hazard to learning, just as many people believe otherwise. At one point, schools had rules and regulations AGAINST the presence of and the use of electronic devices in the school environment. Now, it is almost everywhere, in almost every school. According to Jeffrey Cole, the director of the Center for the Digital Future, “America’s future is based on technology, yet barely a majority of parents and students think schools are up to the challenge of training the next generation of technology users.” Additional sources claim that children who are assumed to achieve honors and astounding results are more likely to use software that is connected to their textbooks and their courses, than average students are. In accordance with those who stand for the use of technology, its advancements have helped us evolve as a society the way it is today. There’s no escaping it in today’s world, for our generation is at the brink of making technological breakthroughs. Many students who had an absence of technology in their youth have gone on to aiding in the early developmental stages of Artificial Intelligence, Augmented reality, Drones, Robots, 3D printing, and Virtual reality. If these innovators had no engagement with technology in their childhood and later helped change the world, the argument remains, what will this generation of kids achieve with the use of technology in their classrooms twenty years from now?
In school, technology helps students efficiently work at their own pace and discover their best learning patterns. Parents and sources claim that the connection many students have to technology, leaves the classroom with them, enabling an equal interactive experience at home. Educational systems that have already implemented a mass distribution of devices claim that it prepares their students for the “Digital Future” that will solely rely on electronic devices. Additionally, they believe retention rates increase with the use of Power Point slideshows and other means of visual representation to enhance learning.
There are two sides to such a critical debate, does technology stifle the way our kids learn or is it a preparation for the future they will have to live in? Whichever way you side, technology is here to stay. It is a matter of implementation tactics and whether or not it poses a serious threat to the education of our youth.

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