While driving last week, I was listening to the radio and I heard an interesting story on the effects of technology on today’s Youth…or it was at least the persons opinion on how technology affects the younger generation. As you can guess, it was the typical story: technology is destroying the minds of children and pretty soon they won’t be able to think for themselves. Technology should be removed from the classroom.
My thoughts on why this is not necessarily true…
- Technology is technology. It is an inanimate object. It, itself, cannot affect the way that students learn because it can’t perform any physical actions.
- It is rather how the technology is used that can have the effects on a student’s ability to learn. If technology is used negatively then it will have a negative effect. If it is being used in a way that is distracting, then it is a hindrance to learning. However, it it is used in a positive manner, then the effects will increase the chance that learning will occur.
- Times are changing and technologies are always developing. Technology has been around for a long time. The difference now, compared to maybe hundreds of years ago, is the complexity of the technology – not the fact that today’s technology didn’t exist back then. People took advantage of the technology the 1800s just as much as we do now. Look at the typewriter for example. People used it just as computers are used today.
- Things evolve. This means upcoming generations need to be fluent with the technologies that are out there today. There are jobs that require the employees to be technologically competent and up-to date.
- Using technology can enable students to have broader perspectives. With all sorts of information that is readily available at our finger tips, students can inquire about things and more things much more easily.
Using technology can open many doors and can be a useful tool that benefits students in a number of ways. However, it is our job, as teachers, to be aware of what we and our students are doing with it to make it effective.