Technology in school: is it helping or hurting students and staff?

Do the benefits of giving students access technology in school outweigh the drawbacks?

Throughout the last couple of years, the use of technology in classes has risen profoundly. Students have become very reliant on it to advance their learning in the classroom.

Within the classroom, teachers of all subjects are starting to integrate technology to potentially benefit the learning ability of their students.

“There are several benefits to using technology in school including using videos, PowerPoints, in-class presentations and using Schoology as a communication tool between students and teachers and to use it as an online turn-in box for assignments,” science teacher Becky Hockstok said.

However, whenever a pro to an argument exists, there is also the other side to it, the downfall. The cons are not being able to turn in a paper or being more dependent on technology.

“The downfall is that we are all already so plugged in and school increases technology use,” sophomore Jhanvi Garg said.

There are even those days when it simply does not work in the classroom so that can throw off a teacher’s lesson plans. Because class time is so precious teachers cannot waste it, so when technology fails, they must be flexible and have a plan B.

“When technology doesn’t work, I have to be flexible and determine another way to make things work. It isn’t always easy, but it must be done, as instructional time is too valuable to waste,” Hockstok said.

Because students are so plugged into technology, they don’t make the best decisions and they start to use in it in the classroom, for other ways other than learning tools.

When this happens, they miss class instruction and during instruction, most teachers agree, they shouldn't be on the technology, unless it’s class-related

“Students shouldn’t be texting (unless there is an emergency with their family) or social media during classes, tests, etc,” Hockstok said.

With the higher use of technology some students are using it as their “brain” and they really aren’t using theirs to figure out problems or to simply find something they need to know for homework if they do not want to use a textbook.

“Sometimes student use technology as a crutch, because information is typically easy to find. Therefore, rather than thinking through a problem, students will often rather look things up quickly. This hampers critical thinking and problem solving skills,” Hockstok said.

Some teachers said technology should be limited within the classroom. Some teachers only use e-mails.

“Technology does close that gap if students need to talk to me. I’m only a click away. At the start of the year I tried to put stuff on Schoology and have the students turn their papers into myOLSD, but I couldn’t stand it. Papers that are turned in are like a receipt,” English teacher Laurie Repko said.

As the years pass, the use of technology is on the rise and students will need to know how to use technology within the

work force.

“Technology makes everything look prettier. Kids are kids and school is school. Learning is the same. We need technology since the work world is changing and students need to know how to use it. We have to prepare them for the work world. It does not aide or subtract from the learning. It’s neutral,” Repko said.

Technology will always be in the, world, and it can be used for the good and bad in life. Students can chose to use it as a learning experience or they could use it for something that does not benefit them in any way.


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