As technology continues to evolve and develop with time, the question of its benefits seems to follow. Today’s millennials all seem to have access to some technology, whether their iPhones, iPads, iMac, surfaces, or tablets. It’s inarguable that technology and its evolution into our day-to-day lives have been anything but helpful. Still, it’s also easy to get lost in this increased use of technology for access to everything. This article intends to discuss the growing effect of technology on education today.
The newest generation has even gotten their nickname of “sticky iPad kids,” denoting their inability to eat a meal or go out in public without something playing on their iPad to keep them interested. While this is a result of being brought into the world during the pandemic, we need to consider that or may not be the only generation that the pandemic has led more and more toward using technology and away from human interaction.
As a society, there are a lot of questions that this idea of the continued increase in the use of technology can bring up. Where do we draw the line where technology becomes too much? Where do we draw the line where human interaction has dwindled to nothing, and technology holds all the power? Where do we draw the line of where the removal of humans through specialized machines becomes too much?
These questions may take a lifetime to answer, but one that we can further understand is the effect technology has had on students and their school lives. It’s no secret that students’ use of notebooks has become almost extinct, and every child taking notes seems to do so on some technology.
After two years of online school, it would be an understatement to say that technology now plays an even more significant role in our day-to-day lives.
When you’re sick and can’t make it to class? It’s okay; zoom yourself in. When you have a question for the professor, but it’s not time for office hours? Just email. When you’re printer is broken, and you can’t print your paper out? Again, email the pdf to your professor.
As much as technology can be blamed for destroying our society, it can also be said that it has made life easier and people more accessible.
A 2019 study shows that 63% of high school and 45% of elementary school students use digital learning tools.
This number was already high pre-pandemic, but after spending a year and a half isolated in homes, students’ usage of digital devices rose. Whether FaceTiming friends to help with the feelings of isolation, watching Netflix to pass the time, or joining Zoom meetings to attend school, students have begun spending the entirety of their days on these devices.
According to an August 2022 survey, 11% of parents revealed that their children spent over nine hours daily on their devices.
While the argument is that the increase in electronic device usage is negative, it also has to be understood that without these websites, children could’ve gone a year and a half without any education. Because they have access to these electronic devices, learning is made more accessible, and children can stay on top of their education.
According to a study done by scientists at MIT in 2015, the use of gadgets has contributed to improved student performance and social gamification has increased knowledge retention in students. While this argument on whether or not the increased use of gadgets in students’ lives is beneficial or not will continue for several years because of the evidence both ways, it’s essential to understand how to utilize the benefits that come with them along with how to prevent the harmful aspects from occurring.
In addition, it is helpful to take notes on a laptop or an iPad, attend Zoom meetings when you’re sick, email your teacher or classmates with questions about an assignment, or even watch some videos to further your understanding of the topic covered in class. However, taking these devices to class to play 2048, Minecraft, or Game Pigeon while your teacher attempts to review the lesson isn’t helpful.
It’s also essential to give your eyes a break every few minutes to prevent the strain of staring at a screen for hours on end. It’s also important to remember that a world exists outside these devices, and it’s up to you to make the most of it. Sometimes you need to take a break from the device and head outside to watch the leaves change colors in the fall, watch the snow collect on the ground in the winter, or even enjoy the warm weather in the summer. People outside of these devices would love to speak to you, so maybe every few hours you spend in your room on your laptop, head downstairs and say hello to your parents. Then, instead of texting your friends constantly and FaceTiming, make plans to hang out in person. Go to the malls, restaurants, and amusement parks, and maybe disconnect for a few hours while you’re with people.
Pranathi Chinthalapani, a freshman Computer Science major at NYU, states, “it’s easy to get lost on my laptop for hours at a time because there’s always something to do on it. Whether it be FaceTiming my friends from back home, watching Netflix to destress, doing homework, joining my classes virtually, there’s always something. It’s hard to remember that I need to turn it off once in a while and go outside, but there’s never been a time that I’ve disconnected that I’ve regretted.” While technology in classrooms has benefited students, especially in recent years, with the pandemic playing such a significant role in our daily lives, it’s a matter of just understanding how to balance this use of technology with the idea of in-person interactions with people and your surroundings.
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