Cause/Effect Paper – Influences of Technology on Education

Recently I was checking out at a grocery store when something unexpected happened. The cashier mistakenly hit the wrong button and it brought the change due to all zeros, but the cashier could not subtract ninety-two dollars from one-hundred dollars in her head. In order to get the eight dollar change value, she had to pull out her cell phone to do the math on her calculator. This cashier could not perform basic math without the aid of technology. While technology improves learning, unfortunately overreliance on it impairs learning and creates a dependency.

When it comes to technology for educational purposes, the possibilities are unlimited. “Nearly every fact is no more than a few taps of the keys from anyone. It has been speculated that this will lead to a decline of respect for intellectuals, but that seems unlikely. Knowing how to search for something is merely the first step to real comprehension, which involves a deeper understanding and critical analysis.” (1)  Students in classrooms around the world can interact with each other. “Technologies, such as satellite video conferences, Internet-based teleconferencing, and interactive multimedia classrooms, are giving schools the ability to reach and educate nontraditional students in numbers that will expand with American higher education.” (2) If students have questions about an assignment, it is now easier to contact an instructor. Also, if there is a group assignment it is easier to use technology like web-cam or email to converse with the rest of the group. Programs such as Microsoft Office provide plenty of options for students to make their homework and reports more professional and presentable in less time. It also provides options for teachers when they are planning for lessons and instructional materials.

Despite the positive outcomes that can be wrought by technology, one of the primary disadvantages of it, is overreliance on it. Students are not even writing their own research papers or reports. Plagiarism is more common today than it used to be. “The New York Times identified dozens of internet sites that sell term papers.” (3) Students are able to copy and paste; they are also buying from websites that provide prewritten term papers.

Teachers are trying everything they can to prevent cheating. They are giving more grade-important tests instead of graded homework. Educators hope it will reduce the cheating problem.

With technology improving on a daily basis, teachers are needed to teach the teachers. “It seems that they have rushed these computers in without one key element, training. Education Week Magazine has just completed a report on technology in school. The report mentioned that teachers do not know what to do with all that RAM. Almost fifty percent do not use computers at all, sixteen percent use the internet, seventy percent said that finding useful products is nearly impossible (teachers are logging off on logging on).” (4) Technology can also be distracting to students. Older students do not know how to take notes anymore because teachers post lecture notes for them. Note taking is part of analyzing and figuring out what is important.

While in the school library students spend more time surfing than researching. Facebook and blogs, texting and e-mailing have all taken the place of actually “talking” to one another. Whether it is teacher to student, student to teacher, or student to student we still need to share our thoughts in spoken words.

We do not need to make the mistake of letting technology take over teaching or parenting. Technology should not be a baby-sitter or a teacher. We need to be sure that interaction and attention are a priority.

Technology can be very costly. Equipment is constantly being outdated or upgraded, maintained, or having to retrain. Repairs and parts are often more expensive than a new computer. Even though it is costly to keep, we need technology now. Most parts of our daily life has technology involved. Business meetings can be held in more than one place at a time. Classrooms from one country can interact with classrooms from another. If our car breaks down we do not have to find a phone, we have one in our pocket. Lives can be saved through technology. There are cons, but the pros are there as well.

We need to remember that as long as we do things in moderation we will all be just fine.

Personal Opinions

When I chose this topic I decided to ask my friends how they feel technology reflects on education. This is a page of their responses.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’m a visual learner and I need to see things and have a book in hand. Eventually, everyone will have an Ipad and all our books will be on that.” (Samantha Weber, Lifeguard)

“I think it’s a good idea. It can make learning more fun and not as boring as it was for us.” (Bethany Hughes, RN)

“It’s a necessary evil, but not always needed.” (Shannon Matheson)

“I think that too much technology can be a bad thing. If technology is used in moderation and in ways that can benefit education, then I’m all for it, but so many teachers use it as a filler. Although power points can help aid in teaching, in the long run, the teacher should still be teaching.” (Nikki Green, Teacher)

“I feel technology provides more opportunities for growth in education. It allows for better research options other than the library with search engines on the internet and actually gives us the ability to complete tasks faster and easier than using pen and paper. Just think, you wouldn’t have been able to ask me this question with technology. The only downfall is lack of instructional classes to assist those who aren’t familiar with advancing technology.” (Greg Cushing, EMS)

“I like using technology in the classroom because students are learning to use their devices for educational uses besides entertainment. Students like to read required books off their device rather than a hard copy. The problem is that technology has glitches. Teachers have to always have a back up plan if their lesson requires the computer and power point. In the future I see schools issuing out Ipads and have students’ textbooks on them. It’s also a lot easier to manage. Sometimes technology has taken longer than actual pen and paper. The teacher just has to guage what he or she wants the students to focus on. It’s nice to have when needed and not have the students restricted from using it.” (Fern Matheson, Teacher)

 

Works Cited Page

How Technology has Changed Education, Alex Wilhelm, 5th January 2011, http://thenextweb.com/insider/2011/01/05/how-technology-has-changed-education/

Negative Effects of Computers in Classrooms, Jessy Norman

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2 Responses to “Cause/Effect Paper – Influences of Technology on Education”

  1. WOW! Sometimes we find other ways to make our lives simpler. But are we helping ourselves or harming ourselves? This paper was an eye opener for me. Especially because I’m a teenager, and teenagers are more prone to laziness. When teens find the easy way out they tend not to think for themselves. Aren’t teens our future doctors and teachers? How will the world end up?

  2. My children used to get so mad at me for refusing to let them use calculators to do their math and the internet for research. They would say, “but the teacher said I could” and I told them that if they couldn’t do it themselves then they couldn’t take credit for the work plain and simple. My children can count back change and they know what books are thanks be to God above! If the computer crashes what will reliant people do? I am guilty of failing to memorize phone numbers because I rely on my cell phone, imagine if I had of grown up relying on computers! Great point and reminder to us all that we need to remember we can think too!

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