The way students receive education has entirely changed due to the technology used as support in schools over the years. The need to flip through endless pages of books to find out certain information came to end with a few quick clicks on the computer for the same. The lessons are learned faster with minimum teacher’s control and intervention. The technological tools have almost replaced the papers. Thereby, students are no longer bound with rewriting incorrect essays and answers. Whiting out is eliminated with simple editing options with amazing applications that technology renders.
However, is the technology being used to an appropriate extent in schools? Are the benefits for a student still at the core of the usage of technology? Is the workforce in the right alignment of technology to yield the most out of this wonderful manmade creation?
There is a dire need to reflect on some of such concerns. The parents are investing millions in their children’s education. Not just at the individual level, but the level of technology being used in education also affects the nation in terms of finances and development. The use of technology is indeed questionable because the risks of overusing or misusing technology are prevalent to the extent of causing latent damage to the students’ learning.
The major risk is the shift of purpose of introducing technology in schools
Needless to say, the astounding benefits of technology are undeniable. However, the purpose seems to have shifted from the welfare of students to the profit of the tech companies. For the sake of business, these companies hover around the schools in an attempt to impose their product on them. Somewhere the benefit of such products for students has become a less important agenda than the benefit for the companies. In this regard, activities such as payola are commonly in the spotlight. The school authorities are unessentially spending money on expensive computers and other digital products. There is no firm determination and reporting on the benefits likely to be achieved from such digital tools and equipment.
Overdependence of students on digital tools is another grave concern
The ease, which computers and its applications provide to students for fetching useful data and information, has somewhere killed their interest in books. The students’ mind is programmed to prefer digital mediums to the sources of information. Furthermore, technology is reducing the need to hone the research and analytical skills among students as well as teachers affecting the authenticity in the learning and teaching techniques.
Students need to adhere to technology for fostering skill development and better learning. However, the students are made dependent on technology solely to avoid the hustle during assignment prep, essay writing, problem-solving, research, etc. Websites such as Pro-Papers, on the one hand, are providing help to students. But, at the same time, they are averting them to unlock their complete potential by rendering a readymade help. Dodging the capacity of technology to shape the learning curve is one of the major downfalls posted in schools.
The next shortcoming is the mechanized, standardized assessment of students’ essay writing skills executed by computers
When it comes to the assessment of students’ writing skills, it has to be critical, personalized and wisely judgmental. However, computers are restricted to standardized reasoning, which is set to grade the gibberish higher, and may overlook the creative expressions.
Computer-based testing is after the right answers and eludes critical thinking, imagination and unconventional wisdom, which are the very fundamentals of high-quality writing.
Not just the superficial assessment, but technology has also encouraged depersonalized education
Schools are endeavoring to weed out the expensive teachers and put in place the inexpensive technological tools. Unfortunately, these tools lack one-to-one, customized instruction and deliver standard learning support to every student. Parents fear that their children’s minds will be constrained to robotic learning techniques with no scope of distinctive ideas and thinking power.
Yet there are digital products, which have been developed to nurture the unique interest and abilities of students. These tools help to improve students’ interpretation of a particular topic or subject and to make them grow at their own pace. With such programs, every student can feel supported and comfortable.
The other misuse of technology that engenders a threat to students’ privacy is a crucial concern among the parents.
The tech companies keep a close eye on the students’ personally identifiable data. Their business interest is to design personalized apps based on data-driven instructions. However, the community of parents is not comfortable in their kids’ data being on the cloud. The parents are hesitant in their kids being exposed to the directionless world of the internet especially when their kids are sitting in the classrooms for the sake of studies.
The digital invasions are very likely to take place via unmanaged use of technology when students are in the school. The concern of parents to protect their kids against any intruding software that is after the data of students is growing every day, making them restless at homes. This data may keep a handsome value to be sold. A clear picture is needed to be shown for better regulation of technological integration programs in schools.
Moreover, there are a plethora of virtual schools, which boasts learning based on advanced technology. Nevertheless, these have been documented for low graduation rates, low student test scores, and high student attrition.
There is an urgent need to evaluate the tangible benefits of technology integration programs in schools. It is also vital to analyze how virtual schools are helping student communities differently.
Centralizing education back to the purpose of increased student learning is downright important. The technology should be for the support of student learning under the control of human intelligence. The stringent steps need to be taken for monitoring the control of technology in schools so that technology does not control our students, teachers and their future.