Schoolwork and Technology

November 25, 2011 8:19 pm0 comments
TECHNOLOGY FRUSTRATION: Junior Melissa Danz finds herself forced to use technology to complete schoolwork once again. (Photo/ Lautaro Grinspan)

TECHNOLOGY FRUSTRATION: Junior Melissa Danz finds herself forced to use technology to complete schoolwork once again. (Photo/ Lautaro Grinspan)

By the day’s end, my eyes slightly ached. They felt tired.  I could even discern a sort of torpor or dullness enveloping my mind. Naturally, I wondered what was wrong till I realized I had spent the majority of the day facing a computer screen.

Why? Because schoolwork increasingly forces students to use computers, and all of their great programs (a la Microsoft Word and Keynote) as well as the Internet on a daily basis.

Given the modernization of society, it makes sense that students now complete the majority of their work using a computer. In fact, early exposure to technology might help them cope with the “plugged-in” world that awaits after graduation. However, there seems to be a point, though perhaps only in my stubborn, slightly nostalgic thinking, where technology just becomes too much, both for the mind and the body. Is it that unreasonable for one to rebel against something he/she fears might overtake his/her life?

Hours upon hours of clicking, typing and scrolling (whether spent in the completion of a Quia quiz, Webassign or speech research), indeed promotes a computer-centered lifestyle potentially harmful to students’ health. Used to use their laptops for homework, kids may, out of simple habit, turn again to the laptop during their free time instead of, say, exercising.

As Jeffrey McDonald, USA Today reporter, wrote: “Too much exposure to computers spells trouble for the developing mind [and] may hinder learning.” McDonald’s article also mentions, “From a sample of 175,000 15-year-old students in 31 countries, researchers at the University of Munich announced that performance in math and reading had suffered significantly among students who have more than one computer at home.”

Students’ great use of technology has also, in a sense, developed into an obsessive dependance since nowadays, it is practically impossible to accomplish anything (in academic terms) without a computer. AHS students, for instance, couldn’t even attempt to compose their annual speech projects without the help of the Internet. But what happens if, for reasons unspecified, students temporarily lose access to the Internet (or other forms of technology)? Do they instantly become academically helpless, utterly incapable of achieving anything?

Considering the subject from a more practical perspective, students might also become more distracted while doing their homework on the computer with popular sources of amusement (think Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon) just a couple of clicks away.

Ultimately, I understand that technology is the “now” and basically defines present society, and I recognize that students should be equipped with basic technological skills before graduation. There’s still some part of me, though, some stubborn, overly idealistic, almost old-fashioned part of me that still wants to voice resistance to this trend.

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