A lot of students nowadays are using technology during their course in school. Some students use technology as a research tool for their projects and others to check for essay samples when doing their assignments if they are to be submitted in an essay form. The bottom line is that they need the technology. However, some students use it for all the wrong reasons. This article tries to analyze if technology makes students smarter or get them distracted.
In a normal day in college, you’ll see students all over the place walking, with their fingers on their phones and heads down, all this in order to try to get connected and learn, or so they say.
For students, their Androids and iPhones help them take photos of their lab samples, record lectures and do their research. According to Richard Gentry, an author and child literacy educator in Fort Lauderdale, technology such as videos, games and animation help younger children improve vocabulary and reading by bringing the characters to life.
On the contrary, if technology is overused it can leave students feeling stressed, alone, unproductive and disconnected as shown by the research. A survey was recently carried out by the Chronicle Of Higher Education. Students who took part in the survey said that online conversations feel less real than face to face conversations, and that they wasted too much time online. They also said they felt anxiety or panic when forced to disconnect for long stretches of time.
According to Andrea Corn, who is a psychologist in Lighthouse Point, technology is a double-edged sword. She continues to say that kids of this generation have opportunities to expand their universe that previous generations did not have. She continues to add that although technology brings with it a load of information at kids’ fingertips, it also brings temptations with it, and with the temptations comes distracted opportunities.
A 21-year-old Roxy Rodriguez and studies at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton as senior shares her story. She calls her phone her life. She also admits being an addict of her HTC smartphone that she uses to watch television shows and movies, text friends and update her Facebook status. Additionally she uses “out of the loop” to explain the feeling of leaving the phone at home once. She also admits to surfing the web when in class, half-paying attention to the lecturer. “My 2.8 grade point average would be stronger if I weren’t so distracted,” She said.
Professors too complain about students not paying attention as they surf the web. Fred Hoffman, who is a Math Professor in FAU, said he cannot ban iPads, phones or even laptops since students use them to download e-Books of their class book with the devices. He adds that this provides a doorway for more students to use the devices in class. Students surf the internet and even message their friends in his class. He even assumes that in bigger classes, other students watch porn.
However in North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, all students from 6th to 12th grades have laptops that they use for educational activities such as simulated lab work and multimedia journalism. Officials say that teachers do not have a problem since they walk around the classrooms making sure students are all engaged in the lesson. They also have filters to block unwanted sites. The school is also looking to implement a pilot project next year where students can use smartphones in class to answer multiple-choice questions or surveys and then display the results on a screen in class.