Education, Technology, and the Gap Between Common Sense and Entitlement

People in their twenties remember a simpler time in education. MySpace was the craze, the ELMO was the coolest piece of technology in the classroom, and you were considered the coolest person ever if you had a Motorola Razor or a phone that could act as an iPod. You only had an iPhone if your family was extremely wealthy, and computers were blocks that used a dial-up modem. Does this bring back some sense of nostalgia?

As you can see, technology was simple. Today’s kids in schools have phones as early as seven years old, and iPads as young as nine. Chromebooks have recently been introduced in some school districts for the sole purpose of switching to a virtual education. The question is this: are we advancing in education, or are we adding more distractions that prevent education?

I work at a middle school that was the “test school” for introducing personal chromebooks to each student. Initially, the intent was to break the education barrier between student and parent and create a more interactive environment. What actually happened? Middle school kids became more focused on Google Hangouts, Fun Unblocked Games, and what Youtube videos they could or could not watch; therefore, education was the last thing on their minds. Standing in front of the classroom to run a lesson became mentally draining, assignments that were presented on paper became less appealing.

Why wouldn’t they become enticed by this personalized technology? Middle school kids are not mature enough to handle this sort of responsibility. The basic skill of learning self control when it comes to multiple stimulus has not been fully presented. Whether it be a home situation contributing to the problem, or schools not fully communicating what it means to have this sort of responsibility, kids are not prepared to handle personalized technology. Don’t even get me started on what I saw three of my boys on in class last week.

Education is moving towards modern technology, and we need to begin teaching this new generation that having this sort of technology is a privilege, not a right. It is just as easy to present these digital lessons on a piece of paper. The more we push technology without proper education on how to use it, the more we are setting these kids up for failure, and that is a generation I do not want participating in our society.

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