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Technology In The Classroom

Modern classrooms are very different from the ones that children f a few generations ago experienced. The concept of education has been radically changed and some of the biggest changes have come about due to advances in technology especially with the introduction of computers, smart devices and internet access. To the casual observer, this must seem like a good thing and one that we should all be thankful for but every story has another side. This essay seeks to explore both sides of the issue.

How it can help learning take place

There are many different types of learners. Through the use of specialized software, a child who is a visual learner can be given more visual stimulus to work with. Just as easily and within the same classroom, another student can be provided with exclusively audio stimulus if this is what he or she prefers. At higher levels of education, students who want to challenge themselves can enroll in college level courses taught by some of the world’s most seasoned professors at no cost. This allows them to experience different fields at a shallow level until they are ready to delve deeper. They can direct their own learning so that the teacher is more of a guide than the pitcher from which their minds are filled. It allows students to learn things that no teacher who is nearby can teach them because their devices are a secondary classroom.

How it can reduce the capacity for learning

Obviously much may be learned via this new technology but we lose something simultaneously. Many older millenials can just barely remember a time when they memorized the phone numbers that they would have to use regularly. This is part of a larger batch of cognitive skills that we have begun to lose as a species as we outsource them to devices. Mental calculation has been taken over by hand-held calculators. Recognition of landmarks is no longer necessary if GPS will guide us. As children in classrooms, being taught how to learn through computers brings another barrier between them and the ‘real’ world that makes in person conversations harder too. Existing without smart devices becomes a cause for anxiety when they are ever present.

The key lesson to be learned here is not that technology is a bad thing. We merely need to be careful about how much of it we invite into our schools at a time.


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