Technology: Education’s Assistant or Distraction?

Technology is possibly interfering with learning.

By Andrea Ortiz (Staff Writer) -7/2/16

IPad carts are becoming more common on High school grounds.
IPad carts are becoming more common on High school grounds.

Technology is being seen more and more in the classroom each day, but does the use of the latest gadgets encourage students to learn, or do the smartphones keep the learners from the learning?
There are many benefits from having technology within the classroom; many agree upon the fact that although traditional teaching has worked for previous generations, the world is a new, fast-paced system, and society needs a new, fast-paced way of learning to go along with it.
Schools all around the world have become accustomed to the idea of technology in the classroom. According to the Huffington Post, “9 in 1 say technology helps students ability to learn”. Senior Samantha Ragoza shared that she is thankful for how much technology she has been able to use throughout her years of high school, easy access to the internet allowed her to research a vast amount of careers and helped her find what she really wanted to do.
Although a majority of the people see technology as a tool in furthering education, some teachers believe any form of technology, especially the cell phone, are nothing but a distraction in the classroom. Pew Research Center prepared a survey where half of the teachers shared the belief that “In 2020, the brains of multitasking teens and young adults are “wired” differently from those over age 35, and overall it yields baleful results. They do not retain information; they spend most of their energy sharing short social messages, being entertained, and being distracted away from deep engagement with people and knowledge. They lack deep-thinking capabilities; they lack face-to-face social skills; they depend in unhealthy ways on the internet and mobile devices to function. In sum, the changes in behavior and cognition among the young are generally negative outcomes.”
Numerous classrooms across the world are a victim to this unfortunate setback to what could be a tremendous leap forward. Junior Valerie Reveles stated, “I’ve had many classes throughout the year where all the kids are just sitting there on their phones the entire time. Nobody is learning and nobody is communicating, but eventually that just becomes normal.”
Students should be allowed the freedom to use their phones, laptops, etc, but the teachers need to be trained how to teach the students while also interacting with technology. As Nancy Kassebaum once said, “There can be infinite uses of the computer and of new age technology, but if teachers themselves are not able to bring it into the classroom and make it work, then it fails.”

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