Top 5 Problems With Technology in Education Today…in 2015
In the past 2 years alone, technology has evolved rapidly, as has its role in education. Children are introduced to the digital world at a much earlier age and as such, develop an innate understanding of how to use technology. They’re able to pick up new inventions and figure out how to use much faster than their parents might have been able to do so at the same age. There are numerous advantages to technology, and its use in education opens a whole spectrum of potential. But with every good thing comes the bad, and technology is no different. We first examined some of the problems with technology in education two years ago—now we’re looking at how these have changed or remained the same.
5. The All-Knowing Helper
Today, nearly every student begins their assignment by first searching the internet. Google is everyone’s best friend, always having the answer to the question, no matter how simple or complex. Of course, this isn’t strictly accurate—there’s a lot Google doesn’t know—but for students, especially younger ones in k-12, that is the impression they have. This was an issue two years ago as well, but one that has grown in severity as younger kids get more tech-savvy. To Google is to search the internet, via any resource available, and students love to do it. The problem with having all the answers at your fingertips though is that sometimes there’s too much information. Especially in the lower grades, teachers don’t want their students to explore more complex ideas and theories on a topic until they’ve understood the basics. Unfortunately, younger students are not usually able to determine what is relevant and important to their task and what isn’t—finding something too advanced for them results in an assignment that is little more than a mere regurgitation of the ideas they cannot understand.
4. The Lazy Thinker
The excuse of “my computer crashed” has decreased in popularity, if only because it overuse has made even the least tech-savvy teacher wary. However, having the answers at their fingertips not only makes students less likely to think about their work, particularly if its for a subject or assignment they aren’t interested in. Plagiarism is a problem every teacher lectures their students on, but despite the warnings, its hard to avoid the temptation of looking up what others have though on the topic. When writing essays or shot answer questions, a student may adapt the views of other scholars or their peers without applying any critical thinking themselves.
3. The Old-timer
Teachers not knowing how to use, or effectively use technology in the classroom is still an issue. The rate of growth in technology makes it difficult for educators from previous generations to fully keep up. Even as the next generation enters the work force of teachers, it puts a lot of responsibility on them to continue staying on top of the changes. Institutions need to take a bigger and better role in education their teachers with the kind of technology available at their disposable, as well in emphasis the importance of doing so.
2. The Bad Influence
Aside from the distraction social sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Buzz Feed, and Reddit offer, the growth of online courses also bring up the question of credibility. Online quizzes that can be taken at home provide the scope for cheating. This isn’t a problem for the programs that require students to take tests or exams in person; however, this negates some of the benefits of an online course. As we open the possibility of students from all over the world to take the same course, only well-established institutions with a lot of expendable money can afford to set up test stations in multiple places. To some extent, online testing seems inevitable, as does the potential to cheat.
1. The Easy Answer
There’s still a debate as to how effective technology can be in the classroom, but educators and edtech companies are realizing that technology can only be a an aid to the other teaching tools. As the presence of technology grows inside the classroom, it’s clear that it cannot solve every problem. There’s still a level of individual attention each child needs, and that is something a teacher must do—technology just makes this easier by taking care of other administrative and basic tasks.
Suchita is a student at Emerson College, where she is pursuing a BFA in Writing, Literature, & Publishing for poetry with a Global & Post-Colonial Studies minor. She has been published in Verge Magazine (Canada) and Affairs Today (UK).