The Opportunities and Obstacles Of Technology Within A School Setting

Technology's impact on society in the twenty-first century is continuously expanding. From projectors to smartphones toChromebooks, each one of these forms of technology has influenced school systems worldwide. There has been quite a controversy regarding this topic, as many teachers believe that it is the future of learning while others seem to contradict their theories. One thing is for sure, it is cemented into our lives permanently with no means of escape.


Photo Credit: Sarah Greenspun

It’s imperative that we acknowledge the positive effects of technology. The technological advances in the classroom made within the past 30 years have helped improve relationships with teachers, have allowed students to receive instant feedback when needed, and even the internet which is at the tip of our fingertips. When Chromebooks were initially introduced, they had disrupted the system in the best way possible. The classroom became a healthier environment and work was organized. With Google Drive, we have folders we can divide our work into and Classroom also helps provide a better outlook on what our due dates. Although there has been quite a debate on whether it has divided or united us, it’s proven to bring students closer to their teachers. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to imagine going about the last four years without the use of technology. It’s had such an impact on not only my life but my fellow peers as well. Most memories from my high school career has a form of technology attached to it, whether it was my Junior prom dancing to music with my friends or even pulling all-nighters to finish that excruciating essay. I have had the privilege to review my own growth with just a click of a button. I have improved mentally and academically, this gives me a chance to reminisce everything I’ve accomplished. An additional point that can be made is the organization that we have online. By utilizing the internet, this allows students to be connected to the school. From websites such as Naviance, Powerschool, and even Quizlet, these have all improved not only students’ education but the teacher's ability to guide us throughout the curriculum. As Kayla Vernon, a senior at East Haven High School, had claimed, “Google Classroom has helped me in so many ways. Homework is always posted on the website which is easily accessible and email is also something that keeps me in touch with teachers outside of school.” The majority of my school life is maintained by technology, knowing how to utilize it is becoming more of a necessary life skill every single day. Earlier generations were raised differently surrounded by encyclopedias, dictionaries, and had more hands-on lessons. With the new technological advances, lifestyles have become inherently easier and the way we live is often taken for granted due to ignorance. With just one click of a button, we have the ability to access any information our hearts desire; yet we neglect this privilege.


Drawbacks

Although it has the power to connect us instantly, it tends to divides us long term. Statistics show that communication in teens have been dropping dramatically in the last decade. During a survey that was conducted in 2018 by Common Sense, it revealed that a teen’s preferred mode of communication is now texting, social media, and video chatting. Overall, this comes to a low 60% of adolescence who depend heavily on this tech to communicate. The survey concluded that back in 2012 “Their favorite way to communicate with friends is in person. Fast forward six years, and face-to-face communication has apparently lost its youthful sheen” (Kathy Steinmetz). Gone are the days of face to face communication. Over the last century, we have taken a steep decline and this will continue to be an issue unless we make the decision to make a change. Although email and Google Remind has opened many new doors, children have a harder time presenting to their class or sharing their ideas aloud. Afterall, today’s students are digital natives but these are the drawbacks that coincide with the new age.


Teacher’s Easy Access

Yet another program we tend to take for granted would be GoGuardian. Although some may see this as an invasion of privacy, this helps keep students in check. The program allows administrators to monitor our computer activity to ensure we’re on task. This particular database and many others enable students to think critically and choose to do the right thing while educators can assess the areas in which they need help. Anthony Russell, a teacher in the science department, had stated, “[I like] utilizing both technology and written work in [my] lessons…formative assignments can be administered through classroom online and summative assessments can be on a tangible sheet.” This way, students can find a happy medium between the two. Another teacher who uses technology in the classroom would be Dr. Joseph Marangell. Dr.. Marangell would create weekly Google Forms for the students. Katherine Garcia, an EHHS senior who had taken Dr. Marangell’s Modern European History course, had said, “He would usually assign one each week to check in with his students. Usually before a test or after he assigns an essay, he would ask anyone if they need help in the form. More times than not, he would do everything he can to whether it’s to find sources or even just to give advice.” This check-in helps improve student-teacher relationships and is overall very helpful on both ends.


People are adapting, schools are changing, and opinions are being altered all due to technology. Our grades, essays, reminders, and homework assignments are there to remind us of how dependent we truly are on this complex network. How we include this in our lives is no longer our choice: the real question at hand is whether this is for the greater good or will result in our own downfall.


Teens Are Over Face-to-face Communication, Study Says

Katy Steinmetz - https://time.com/5390435/teen-social-media-usage/


Six Major Pros & Cons Of Technology in the Classroom

Vawn Himmelsbach- https://tophat.com/blog/6-pros-cons-technology-classroom


A Decade Of Smartphones: We Now Spend an Entire Day Every Week Online

Charles Hymas -

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/01/decade-smartphones-now-spend-entire-day-every-week-online/

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