The power of technology and its dark side in education

I believe technology changed the world some decades ago, and will continue changing our world in a fast pace every day. In our current world the use and implementation of technology is a reality that we can’t avoid. New generations have a technological oriented culture that is not likely to change in the near future. There are several advantages regarding the use of technology that make it impossible not to think of it as one of the best things that happened to the world.

For example, one of my cousins was in a car accident, as a result one of her eyes was severely injured. One Doctor told her it was very probable she was going to lose it. However, one of the youngest doctors in the team had an online forum where she and colleagues from all over the world discussed atypical cases. She posted pictures of my cousin’s eye on the forum and thanks to the comments of two doctors, one from Brazil and one from India, she was able to find a very rare procedure for very rare cases that was very effective. The doctors also were able to practice the procedure on a computer thanks to a software developed for that purpose. In conclusion my cousin can see because of technology.

Several examples like that are present in so many fields where technology has been able to improve the quality of life of so many people.

However, technology has also negatively impact our society in different ways. First there is the social toll. It is more common to see people talking over cell phones than in person, even if they are in the same room. In addition, research has shown that the use of cell phones while driving increases the number of accidents.

In education, research has proven that technology can be a distractor to students that use laptops or other electronic devices during classes.

The big question is, should we avoid the use of those devices? should we try to change the new generations culture to stop them multitasking involving technology? or should we try to find a way to leverage the use of technology in our favor?

I would prefer the last option. I don’t think we can forbid the use of technology in classrooms. Such decision can create a negative impact on the learning community for those students that can’t live without their devices. Rather I believe we should find ways to incorporate technology in the class, I think we need to actively recognize that they are using their computers and make them include them in class discussions. For example actively ask students to google things of find resources online that relate to the class conversation.

Do you guys think we should change the way we approach and incorporate technology? or you think that we need to promote a culture of minimizing the use of machines, especially in social spaces, and classrooms?

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2 Responses to The power of technology and its dark side in education

  1. Miko says:

    I agree with you, Homero. It is not beneficial to completely forbid the use of technology in the classroom. I think regulation and supervision is important. I tend to believes that older students can be more responsible, so distractions should not be a major issue. But with younger learners, teachers should be trying to find ways to monitor and identify possible distractions. Also, technology can be used only when really necessary. In that way, distractions can be reduced. Just a thought.

  2. Jude C Chris says:

    Not only there should be supervision from the teachers or parents but the companies creating technologies should cater to these kind of situations with their innovations. Then the students can concentrate more on imbibing knowledge rather than deviating or misusing the technology.

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