In today’s world, technology is increasingly becoming predominant in schools. Students nowadays have access to the latest and up to date technology. They can research just about anything to help with their studies. Devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. are fast replacing our textbooks.
Data Label, an online label manufacturing company, conducted a survey recently where people were asked whether they feel technology in schools has had positive effects on children. The majority of the respondents, about 88% of them, believe that technology in schools has pushed students to learn and take full advantage of their studies.
Some parents were also asked what they felt were the negative effects of using technology in schools, with the major concern being a decrease in attention span. The major negative effects according to the respondents were:
• Decreased attention span – (28%)
• Hardware and software issues – (17%)
• Lack of fine motor skills development – (16%)
• Damage to children’s eyesight – (12%)
• Risk of overstimulation – (10%)
• Carpal tunnel and repetitive strain injuries – (7%)
On the positive effects of technology in schools, more than 30 percent of the parents said developing modern skills was the biggest advantage, and then followed by easier access to learning resources and tools. The major positive effects according to the parents are highlighted below:
• Developing modern skills – (32%)
• Access to learning resources and tools – (29%)
• Instant access to information – (18%)
• Enhanced traditional ways of teaching – (8%)
• Opportunity for individual learning – (6%)
• Special needs education support – (5%)
The respondents to a large extent agreed that there were many benefits of using technology in schools, and in the same vein, the survey also shows that there can be negative implications.
The role technology has played in today’s schools is quite significant. The general adoption of technology has totally changed the way teachers teach and how students learn. Teachers are beginning to learn how to teach with emerging technologies such as Smart Boards, tablets, laptops, digital camera, and so on. Students are also using technology to improve how to learn. Below are some of the benefits of integrating technology in schools.
Technology makes learning more fun – students like using tablets or laptops for studying because they believe it makes learning fun and interesting. Subjects that often seem challenging or boring can become interesting by using a video or pictures on a tablet.
Technology prepares students for the future:
– Using technology in schools will prepare the students for the advancement of technologies in the digital future. Ed-tech in schools prepares students for the future and set them up for the ever increasing digital economy.
– Technology improves the rate of retention and helps students to remember what they learn, and they retain information better.
– It enables students to learn at their own pace
– With technology students can learn according to their abilities and needs. It also gives the teacher the time to work individually with students who may be struggling.
Philip Carlyon of Data Label in his comment on the survey said:
“Technology can certainly improve study, develop interactions and attract more interest for subjects. As technology improves and develops more and more, students will value these practices at a younger age and will be able to produce a more efficient flow of study and overall improve their test results. If we look back to the days of book sharing and only have limited access to computers each week, we’ll see that times have truly moved forward. Advances have even been made in schools around the UK thanks to technology, with the majority of schools now utilizing iPads and tablets for all the young pupils in the classes now.”
Some of the disadvantages of technology in schools are:
• Technology can be a major distraction – The attention span decreased drastically in the classroom when students have access to phone or other devices. They often shift focus from their teacher and studies to the device.
• Access to bad contents – One of the major concerns of technology in schools is access to inappropriate contents such as violent videos or pornography.
• Technology can make students to be disconnected from the real world. It may be distant them from their teachers or peers.
Philip Carlyon also added:
“However, there can be a downside from students using too much technology, with fears that young students are not learning how to hold a pen properly, for example. Another problem is students holding or staring too closely to the screens, which leads to a strained vision and sore eyes after long periods of use. We’ve gone through a lot of changes over the years, and technology is another one of these that needs to be carefully monitored, but overall will benefit students of all ages.”