How did technology affect our learning

Technology is one of the most disputed topics when it comes to education in and off classroom. Many say it saves the time while some teachers report lack of concentration and excessive dependence on the gadgets in students. So what is it really? Is it the worst thing to happen or a helpful tool in our kids’ life?

It’s no denying that smart phones and laptops and tablets are now everywhere including the classrooms. Researcher Vicky Rideout says children are spending twice as much time using their gadgets as they spend in school.

While no profound research has been conducted to define the difference in students’ attention spans, teachers say they have to make their best to keep the learners’ concentration.

So how can that be that while some report significant improvement in comprehension and more flexible manipulation with such things as ideas, concepts and additional information, others cry about the lowered attention and shallower understanding of the material? And what has technology to do with it?

What tech are we talking about?

What if we’re talking about different kinds of technology? A research which proved that technology helped schoolchildren was pursued in 2005. In that time, technology probably meant interactive boards and other devices used in class.

Today, when we’re saying students use technology we mean downloading books on their phones and participating in the webinars online. It’s not bad of course, but you cannot divide your comprehension skills between home and college, which means you come to school with all those habits you’ve made while relaxing in from of your laptop at home. And what are they?

The other side of progress

One of the biggest issues is multi-tasking and switching between tasks. Reading the full article without interruption (not to mention books) is a rare luxury nowadays. The same applies to movies, college assignments, etc.

We are supposed to be in several places at once, which leads to making nothing while working on everything.

Also, constant use of gadgets leads to less sleep, which affects your performance the next day. And we all know about the worst of it: decrease in creative thinking that is caused by bright yet structured worlds we have on our screens, Kate Coen, contributor to such editions as The Guardian and Time reports. There is lesser and lesser space for all those imaginary things we used to enjoy as kids.

Media tools at school are definitely a good thing: no need to spend time on mechanical side of the story, but it is essential, yes, essential to restrict our children’s use of tech items like phones and computers. Or we will end up living in the world described in the ‘Idiocracy’ movie by Mike Judge, unable to do the simplest math on our own or in the ‘Brave New World’ by Huxley, where the situation can seem even more spooky.