Is technology good or bad for students? That is the question many parents ask themselves when they are considering the use of technology in their children’s education. Technology is fast paced, it is convenient, and it does allow some things that would not otherwise be possible to do. But is technology really that bad for students?
The truth is that technology can be a wonderful thing. It has allowed for more learning to take place at an earlier and more focused age. The invention of the PDA and cell phone was particularly helpful for students. Technology does help students learn things that they might otherwise have missed out on because they were too busy concentrating on other things.
However, when it comes to the bad and the ugly, technology really is bad in several ways. Students who are forced to use technology in school, without getting to fully develop their skills and interests in other things, can find that it is hard to get ahead in school. Some students end up with substance abuse problems because they were unable to develop independent thought, creativity, and problem-solving skills that they would have naturally developed as they grew up.
Another way that technology really is bad for students is that many schools are fully not using it possible. Technology is great for helping students learn. It is especially helpful for those students who are extremely bright and curious, but who have a hard time translating that interest into a successful career in the real world. Some students have become so frustrated with the limits of technology places on them that they have seriously considered suicide.
Technology may be good for helping students keep up with the pace of a new technology-based curriculum, for example. But some teachers have chosen to use outdated technology to fulfill the same goals. In other cases, students have been pressured to use old technology, even though it is not meeting state-mandated academic standards. In both cases, the result has been less than optimal learning experiences. In other words, students are being deprived of the opportunity to learn to use the technology at hand.
Is technology good or bad for students’ social development? Social interaction is essential for the healthy mental and emotional health of a student. A major component of social learning theory is the belief that students learn better when they are allowed to control the pace of learning, when they are given the opportunity to talk about one’s experience rather than simply hear what another person is saying. This is especially true in the case of technology. If a teacher is compelled to use computers in a group setting that is heavily scripted or if the student’s communication skills are severely limited, there will be little opportunity for real-world social interaction.
Is technology good or bad for students’ self-esteem? Self-esteem is a complex area that is not well understood by most people. However, it is obvious that if a student believes that he or she is unable to engage in meaningful conversation with another person, or if that student feels that he or she is being tested in school by a standardized test, there is going to be a very low level of confidence in that student in the social circles in which those students regularly participate. Thus, is technology bad for students’ self-esteem?
Is technology good or bad for students? It is impossible to say because technology has many different beneficial aspects. Technology can open whole new ways of learning that were impossible before. At the same time, the development of digital information means that schools need to consider how their computer systems function to provide a better learning experience. The bottom line is that technology has helped bring many students from remote, under-funded schools to overachieving, well-resourced schools that rely on technology as their primary method of educating.