While there are many advantages to using technology in every day routine, it should also be noted that it is another reason that our children are having trouble focusing all around. How can we expect our children to do well in school when they are glued to social media with apps readily available on their iPhones and Androids? These children have learned to become dependent on their phones, tablets, and computers for simple research and calculations.
Ask a student to sign for a gmail.com account and watch him or her do it in a heartbeat. They will go a step further and set things up on your phone for you, so you can retrieve your email while using your phone.
I find that to be hilarious!
Now, go ahead and write down a simple math problem on the board; something like 28 + 23 is sufficient. Ask them to to put away their phones and anything technology related. Ask them to grab a pen and paper and to solve the answer. Note how long it takes them to solve a simple problem.
It should take them less than 7 seconds to solve this addition problem. Watch and see students or your kids struggling. That’s where our problem is.
While I have myself advocated for new laptops and desktops in our school systems, making our students too dependent on them is a mistake. Next, ask your children to write a simple paper, two page essay. Make it a challenge for them by requiring they pull their research from not the internet but rather from a book they have to cite.
Force them to visit a library. Have them go through the book isles and watch their frustration mount as they will realize they lack basic patience and skills to search books!
This is not the case with all students but rather at least half the students in class.
Of course, laptops are great for additional research but the problem with online sources is that everyone thinks they are an authority on a subject. The danger in that is that students believe everything they read online and also, this leads them to laziness, as they will cite anyone online.
Also, I have seen many cases of plagiarism in the last few years. Not only is that a nuisance, but it is definitely a sad state of affairs for our educational system. I love Copyspace (see how certain apps are extremely helpful?!) as it tells me right off the bat if a paper has been plagiarized.
Every year, I catch at least 10 cases within a 6 month span.
Now, let’s talk about the apps I do trust children with: Photoshop, Gmail. Those are the only two I myself use in class. The three that I loathe that students use on the daily? Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat. These are highly disruptive. When students use these in class, they take away other students’ attention away from the teacher as well. If a student does this more than twice, I confiscate their phone for the day.