It is rare that teachers or students are ever consulted about policy decisions that directly impact teaching and learning in the classroom. This is especially true when it comes to multi-million dollar purchases of expensive tech equipment. My district certainly never consulted me or my students prior to deploying 100,000 devices across the district and after seven months in a digital classroom, I doubt the district will ask for our feedback before they deploy another 100,000 devices to tenth grade students next fall. But what if all of this expensive gadgetry is actually detrimental to the learning process as a recent article printed in the New York Times suggests?
It turns out that students who received laptops actually had lower reading scores than before they received the technology. This was especially true for male students. It doesn’t take a PhD to figure out that students, especially boys, were more likely to waste their time playing video games now that they had a computer rather than do their homework or read a book.
I decided to ask my students to write an argumentative essay about whether technology in the classroom was beneficial or detrimental to the learning experience as part of our school wide writing plan as we prepared for the new Florida Standards English Language Arts assessment in March. I’ve been dying to know what my students really felt about the use of tablets and other devices in the classroom and I thought having them write an argumentative essay after reading two articles in favor and two articles against would give me an excellent opportunity to assess their opinions as I was also assessing their writing. The essays ran about 60% against technology and 40% in favor. Below is a sampling of some of the students’ reasons for viewing technology as detrimental as well as beneficial. Colorful language and grammatical errors have remain unchanged.
1. From a student who is in the 9th grade myself I can’t even be focused on my work if my teacher is on the starboard teaching a lesson I am on my tablet watching fights boxing or UFC . and when it comes to the work I don’t even have a clue what to do. Bet if we used the textbooks it wouldn’t be like that.
2. Districts/schools have wasted so much money on tablets that half the students don’t even use.
3.With a phone pr tablets it’s very easy to cheat on a test because on a tablet or phone it looks like student is doing work but there not most of the time. On paper a teacher can easily see that a student is cheating but since public schools are getting dumber and dumber by the years I don’t know how public schools are still open. Like why make a teachers life harder while bringing tablets to public schools like a teacher that her whole teaching career she has been using paper in her classroom and then one year a tablet comes on the teacher would most likely say what the heck is this. There main thought would be, now all these kids are gunna cheat.
4.Technology in the classroom is detrimental because allows school districts to boast about their technology, and the student understands, learns, and remembers the material less.
5. It seems that school district only gives students technology in the classroom in order to boast about how much more advanced we are, and that we have expensive devices to give out and your school district doesn’t. Students are capable of learning a new lesson without the need of the device, and learn just as much or in the majority of the times, more than students who use devices in the class. Students do not need to have a device with them that allows them to become distracted and learn less, just because the school district wants to boast about giving them to the students
6.Us, the students, get distracted too easily when it comes to technology. It’s not fully our fault. Especially with all these applications, games, and interesting things to browse on the internet when you’re teacher is giving you an assignment to do. It’s like saying come to biggest candy factory but can’t take any candy.
7.I remember once during the 8th grade I was so madly addicted to video games all I can do in class was sit there and think about what game I was going to play, which level, and so much more. This hurt me quite a lot actually, I started falling behind in quizzes’ tests, homework, and even classwork because I would just be day dreaming in class about a pointless video game. In fact, I was so madly addicted I would lie to my mom, or dad, and say I am sick and that they need to pick me up early. It was to the point I realized this technology was ruining my life, academic grades, and being a normal kid. So I did what I should’ve done the first time it got really bad playing games. I threw my favorite and only console away. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life because I knew my dad would not buy me a new one. 5 weeks later, I ended up bringing all my grades up to having straight B’s. My dad was really proud so he bought me a new console, which I used rarely.
8. When we use technology we are not productive, we spend time doing things were not supposed to be doing with technology.On the other hand if it was a book,paper,and, pencil then you would have no choice but to do your work.
9.The teachers will work hard to put together a lesson plan, just to see the students skip it and go straight to the Internet.
1.Through personal experience I can say that my world history teacher has made the switch and is now mine and some of her students favorite class due to the learning and joy of the class. It’s an amazing factor that should be in every class in every school.
2. By using technology we will also limit the amount of trash we create. It would be benefiting the planet as well. Along with taking away the excuses that they didn’t know the assignment because teachers are now going to be able to assign stuff online. This will have students more organized and keep them from losing information and being able to have the textbook online saves so much paper and money. School online is more efficient and organized.
I believe that technology in the classroom will benefit us in the long run and benefit our planet.
3. Lets get one thing straight tablets do not make people stupid, people make themselves stupid.”But i can easily get distracted if i have access to the web”. Okay A yeah you can get easily distracted if you have access to the internet but you choose to be distracted, and B Why do you blame the tablets for some thing you did. If that’s the case i guess spoons make people fat, cars drive themselves into accidents, and guns shoot themselves.
4. And for all the hippies out there saying were wasting electricity and killing mother nature just know that you have the intelligence of a wall nut. By using tablets,computers,and smartphones we use little to no paper or pencil whatsoever therefore barley cutting down trees. Plus if you use a device you can save your work, rather than using paper and 5/10 of the time losing it.
5. We’ve came to far with technology just to abandon it and return to boring text books. In a matter of seconds a student can search exactly what he or she is looking for, instead of flipping through pages risking to get a paper cut. Little by little we are leaning to the digital world by reading books, newspapers, and reports. This is beneficial for the environment in somewhat a way because we are limiting our use of paper.
6. Now students can spread their ideas and opinions on social media or site allowing them to not only make an impact but to flourish in their learning environment. Technology facilitates the way we learn and absorb information in our everyday lives at school or college. Some experts say that technology is making humanity stupid. The problem is not technology it’s the user and the way he or she is using it. For example you have a hammer you can chose to build things with it or you can choose to hit people’s head and cause a nuisance. That’s the same way with technology.
Despite the fact that many students clearly viewed technology as harming their classroom environment and studies are starting to suggest that student achievement is actually suffering from district issued gadgets, the tech genie has been let out of the bottle and chances are slim to none that he will be shoved back in. The best we can hope for is that technology may solve some of the more distracting aspects of the digital classroom and we can harness the best of the web to broaden our students’ minds instead of letting them atrophy in the constant glare of Google.