Is Technology Benefiting our Education?

Within just the last two decades, the tools and methods utilized in schools have changed drastically. Chalkboards have become Smart Boards and Apple TVs. Students are just as likely to be asked to take out their laptop as they are a pencil, and apps like Schoology and Google Classroom are being used to post assignments and turn them in; gone are the days of exchanging an actual paper copy. Grades can be easily accessed and updated online at any minute, and school-wide twitter pages post updates and important announcements for the district. In addition, sometimes the burden of carrying around heavy textbooks is alleviated, since some texts can be found online. Students can share assignments, easily collaborate, as well as communicate with teachers in ways that were just not possible not too long ago. Just take a few steps into the high school library to see a clear example of technology in the school system. It appears that these benefits of an education system based on technology are enough reason to believe we are much better off than we were just two decades ago.
But what are some of the drawbacks of modern-day education? First, it is easy to see how technology can be a distraction to learning. Being able to use laptops often during class allows students to go on any websites they want, maybe work on other assignments, play games, or check social media during class time, without the teacher even realizing it. The ability to share and edit assignments online with other students makes it easy to cheat on homework that is meant to be individual. Also, it seems that there is always an issue with one of the online programs we use on a daily basis, either schoology is down, Alma isn’t working, or google drive is malfunctioning; a simple wifi mishap can stop a productive school day in its tracks. Another question, are the Apple TVs, daily use of laptops just complicating a student’s education? Is the new technology actually helpful, or is it just a distraction? This question is difficult to answer, and depends on the perspective of who is answering. For students who have used technology in school their entire lives, they would likely say it benefits their education because it is all they have ever known. Conversely, some teachers still support an education with minimal technology, and only use what they are required to in their lesson plans.
No matter the answer, whether technology in education is beneficial or not, it is not probable that it will slow down anytime soon. Personally, I support all of the technology and advancements in school because it facilitates collaborating with other students and allows me to edit assignments and contact teachers anywhere I want. However, I think that a combination of new and traditional methods of teaching would be best, and allow for the most effective education.

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