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Integrating technology into education is no new subject to be discussed upon. There are several overwhelming resources and responses talking about its benefits and why students and professors should start using them.
Not just the online contents and offline supporters, education organizations all over the world have started realizing the role of technology and incorporating them in their daily activities.
However, the million-dollar question is “Are we over doing it?”
Technology is Not a Bad Option When It’s Used Appropriately
Sure, there are plenty of advantages when you use technology while teaching and learning. You are in a global learning environment that offers increased accessibility to the best instructors and the best learning materials around the globe.
You will enjoy bigger collaboration, student engagement, productivity, affordability and many other benefits.You do not have to worry about timing (in most cases), location and enjoy learning at your own pace and place.
That does not mean ‘all is well’ with incorporating technology into education. It has its own share of demerits too. Now consider these instances where you will feel there is no need of technology, at least for preliminary education.
As Bill Gates puts it “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.”
The Distractions & Lack of Face-to-Face Communication
Technology makes life unrealistic and education is no different in this regard. Lack of face-face communication and the number of distractions surrounding it, is not helping the cause either.
Come on, can technology show the love and care a teacher fulfills to her little student-children. Can a kid’s laptop teach good manners or good handwriting? Technology simply cannot replace a good teacher. No way.
Another challenge here is to keep little children away from all adult contents;helping them stay focused on what they have to is the toughest task. Unless there are proper filtering tools and monitoring software this can be a big concern.
Again it need not be an adult content, simple games and fun elements can be a cause of distraction as well.
The Cost of Equipments & Accessibility Issues
Online classes are a great way for students to get a degree at their own pace in the comfort of their home. They presume that the quality of education should be the same whether in person, or on a computer – and for the most part they’re right.
However, there are several areas in the world where accessing Internet is far from possibility. So this obviously creates inequalities among students studying in big institutions and others in the remote areas.
Thankfully, there are few websites helping you find the most affordable combination options, such as online schools offering laptops, making the accessibility of courses over the net a worry-free factor.
Unwillingness or Overdependence Among Students and Teachers is Bad Too
There are many aged but fantastically talented teachers around. These are men and women who mostly love the traditional way teaching. It would be hard for them to adapt to new ways of teaching and changing their roles completely.
On the other side, there are young teachers who simply do not like the technology-methods of teaching. Then, there are few students (although many love to use technology) who may not like the idea too. It all burns down to ‘who likes to have yet another thing to learn’.
Teaching a child to work on technology at its tender age will contribute to overdependence on the machines right from childhood.The couch potato life of today will further increase day by day. And as Albert Einstein rightly puts it “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity”. And humanity starts at school!
So How Do We Go About This?
Well, I am not an anti-technologist by any stretch of imagination. My only point is – let’s not force technology into education. Agreed, it has loads of good things to its credit. But one must not ignore these negative aspects as well. Technology can be brought into schools after a certain grade (say 6th grade or 7thgrade).
It may be limited to specific hours like we do in case of games and physical activities.And security factors may be strengthened too. Before using kid-friendly laptops and tablets, the little ones may also be trained to be self-disciplined. That way, we will check ourselves from unknowingly ruining our kid’s life.
After all, today’s kids are tomorrow’s start!
About the Author – Kathryn Smith loves to write interactive education-niche articles. She has shared many useful and educative resources, tools and study materials like the CSET practice test questions, to make life better for young students seeking different courses of study.