The twenty-first century has arrived, and it has brought some of the most advanced computing technologies into the classroom; this leaves us with a very important question, do we really need technology, such as iPads or computers, implemented in our learning plans? As a student that has taken entire courses on iPads or computers, I can tell you that the former is not the case. There are plenty of reasons to teach about technological advances in each individual field of learning, but, more often than not, technology is unreliable and distracting for students. Not to mention that methods of maintenance rehearsal, like taking notes by hand, are more effective for recollection of information than staring into a screen. The bottom line is, using technology as a tool for education in the classroom is not necessary because it can inhibit the way students learn material.
Technologies like computers or iPads (or anything with internet access for that matter) in the classroom could possibly distract students from their work. Classroom administrators seem to forget that the majority of students really don’t want to be in the classroom.. I remember when I was in highschool, whenever a teacher would bring students into a computer lab, or bring class sets of computers, or bring iPads into the classroom for a lesson a large portion would go onto twitter, or onto any unblocked flash game website whenever the teacher was not looking, try to access anything for them to “escape” the classroom. When there are a large majority of children and/or teens that do not want to go to school, and are given tools to be rebellious so easily, what is going to stop them? Aside, who really wants to sit through the same autonomous paper typing over and over again, in the eyes of a teen, there are so many more things to do with their time that feels more worthwhile when there so many things to do at their fingertips. A student on social media may seem innocent, but it is important to note that just because a student has the ability to multitask does not mean that they will fully absorb information presented in the tasks Technology has gifted humanity with the ability to fulfil multiple tasks at the same time, but just like real life, if a person attempts to do two similar tasks by themself they can still struggle to do both at the same time. Evidence that enforces this can be seen in very simple examples like people that attempt to pat their head and rub their stomach at the same time. Why would school administrators implement something to make multitasking (or just getting off task) easier if it diverts attention away from the original intention? It should not be forgotten that technologies like computers and iPads are very intricate, and at some times do not cooperate with the user how they should.
Most people that have sat through their fair share of presentations would have to agree that they have experienced some sort technical difficulties, but people seldom remember how technology does not always function as it should. School staff always seem to forget that operating a computer is very different from finding information in a book. Because of the nature of the educational system at the current moment, you cannot get through school without having to find and interpret information contained in a book. So if something that we use everyday adequately gets the job done, then why would we change it out for something that is a major shift away from what we are used to? When administrators implement computer or iPad based lessons they know that students are more used to using older methods for learning.
Students are not as used to computer based information interpretation than book based note taking because of how much book reading that happens solely for learning on a regular basis. During a lecture students are virtually forced to take notes; this elaborative rehearsal of knowledge enhances your ability to recall information. It is common knowledge that writing down information aids the brain’s ability to recall it later. On the opposite side of the spectrum, students that see information presented on their own monitor are less inclined to take notes because the information is already in front of them; most of the time students are not pressured to learn this information because online information can be revisited easier. Because there is so little motivation to revisit material that is found online, the average student would just forget about revisiting it entirely. There is no point in using technologies for education unless there is note taking or any form of elaborative rehearsal occurring. But even if there are ways to aid information retention, they can still fall short of book and lecture style lessons.
Some argue that computer/iPad lesson integration ends up aiding the class as a whole because of convenience for the teacher, and could actually help with learning. For the few students responsible enough to fulfil the task, learning can take place in the presence of technology as Clive Thompson states, in his essay “Smarter than You Think,” when he analyzes chess players that have used computers to aid themselves in the learning of chess strategy (345-346). Apart from this, there is still a large chance a lesson that a teacher brings to class is newly implemented or developed, which could leave gaps in information and could be more focused on the gimmick of classroom tech rather than focusing on teaching methods. Something could present a person a very large amount of information, but information retention is dependent upon teaching methods. If a class is attuned to learning with the aid of technology (not off task, no malfunctions of tech.) the fact that students are not used to interpreting information that is presented on a computer/iPad still lingers. If there was a way to negate these three reasons for the information inhibition of the students, then having technology in the class would not be as problematic, but there still would be plenty more issues.
Students would love having all their books in one convenient little device for class, but the student does not always know what is right for them. On the other side, students would love to be on social media or playing games rather than flipping through an e-book or filling out a web based work sheet during class. School administrators should remember not to force technology into their curriculum unless they are confident in the student ‘s ability to learn and correctly recall information presented. When students have no desire to learn and are given tools to distract themselves technology hurts them, or rather their test scores, more than students who learn with book or oral based teaching because the absence of distraction. Computers and iPads are very difficult to repair or replace compared to books, and because most people are not yet “technologically literate” enough to perform basic tasks for the maintenance of their computer, then it would just be easier to use books. These issues create question as to if students are ready for classes to require computer knowledge when some have difficulty learning the material as it has always been learned for thousands of years.
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