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Technology: Help or Hindrance?

Though much has been published nationally on this topic, we seek answers specific to NAI

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Technology: Help or Hindrance???

From telescopes, to light bulbs, and even fire, technology proves to be a tremendous aid to modern civilization. Ever since the creation of the telephone in 1876, technology has exponentially advanced more than anyone could have imagined. In the past decade, devices such as iPads, iPods, tablets, laptops, and Promethean boards have been incorporated into the lesson plans of most teachers nationwide. Almost everyone agrees that technology can be a huge help for students and the learning experience, but it ultimately depends on whose hands the technology falls into.

 

NaEye interviewed several students and teachers to get a wide variety of opinions about whether or not technology in schools is a help or hindrance.

 

Former integrator of technology and current math teacher, Mr. Reck, has an extensive background with use of technology. According to Mr. Reck, “they (the Promethean boards) bring life to the classroom.” Although technology spruces up the learning experience for the students, it can bring new challenges to development.

Weighing in the pros and cons of the laptops, Mr. Reck says, “it is important for students to be able to know how to use them moving into college and in the future.” On the other hand, he shares that in his experiences the laptops are sometimes not used in the way they were put forth.s He states the laptops “take away from the students being able to communicate with teachers and adults.”

 

Yearbook and English teacher, Mr. Geibel, is always embedding technology into his daily plans. This does not mean that students are always doing what they are supposed to during class.  Mr. Geibel states that he runs into this problem during his classroom hours. “Today, people are used to “multitasking”, so most of the time, students are using technology for reasons other than class, but they’re still “paying attention… or, so they say.”

 

It is troubling finding students playing 2048 or Tetris in the middle of class instead of working on something they are supposed to do. This is why some teachers  say that technology is a hindrance because it is retaining students from staying on task.

 

NaEye seeked to get more answers to their burning technology questions. One student, who chooses to remain anonymous, says, “The laptops are useful, but they break down too easily.” Although the laptops allow students to access more resources like online textbooks at home, there can be a lot of unreliable incidents such as no wifi connection or a software/hardware problem on the computer. The laptops are a work in progress; they are not perfect, but neither are we. Another student says the laptops have definitely made learning more accessible. “I can have everything in just one space.” The student also added, “I like having my Blackboard on-hand.”

 

Now that technology is somewhat of an umbilical cord for most Americans, it was only a matter of time until it became infiltrated into classrooms. Now that they have taken over our school day, the burning question continues to be,“Is technology a help or hinderance to an individual’s learning experience?”

Overall, from our interview data, it seems that technology can be a good tool for learning, but also a machine in which students “drone out” into, not listening to the expertise of the teacher, but constantly starting at a screen.

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Technology: Help or Hindrance?