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Technology: Trash Or Treasure? Essay

2288 words - 10 pages

If you were to ask some high school students, “Have you ever looked up a sports score or checked your Twitter feed in class on your phone or computer?” what do you think their answer would be? The answers from most, if not all, of the students would be “yes”. Technology use has drastically increased over the past few years, and this dramatic increase is having its effects on classrooms. With online textbooks, homework, and lectures, it is inevitable for it to have an effect. Technology is rising at a rapid pace, and it is rapidly being integrated into secondary classrooms in many forms, such as online textbooks, homework, and lectures. Because of this swift incorporation of technology, high school students have a decreased focus in the classroom, have decreased motivation and patience, and it has changed the roles of teachers and students, in addition to having negative effects on a students’ writing and spelling skills.
Technology use among teens and students has been on the rise. Students have technology ranging from cell phones to laptops to iPads. First off, more and more students own cell phones. In 2004, an average of 53.5% of high school students owned cell phones (Jon, 2009). By 2013 that number was up to 78% of students (Madden, Lenhart, Duggan, Cortesi, & Gasser, 2013). Now 47% of those students own smartphones, which is up 23% from 2011 (Madden et al., 2013). The internet and computers are also on the rise. 74% of teens have access to the internet (Madden et al., 2013). 93% have access to a computer and “one in four teens (23%) have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population” (Madden et al., 2013). This increase in accessibility of technology to students has resulted in changes in the classroom setting. In a study done by PBS some interesting statistics arose. Now 74% of teachers use digital resources in their classrooms, 90% of classrooms have personal computers or PC’s in them, 59% of classrooms have interactive whiteboards in them, 48% of teachers use online lesson plans, and more than one-third of teachers use a tablet or e-reader in their classrooms, which is up 20% from the prior year (Mills & Gandy, 2013). A report from Kindle came out saying that for every 100 hardcover books purchased; another 180 electronic books are purchased (Wylie, 2013). This trend has undoubtable had its effects on students and teachers in high school classrooms.
The increased technology in the classroom has caused students to lose focus. Both teachers and students can be distracted by technology. In many schools, technology is allowed during almost all class times. If teachers do not monitor this technology avidly, students will inevitably start to get off task with their devices. Whether that means chatting with friends by texting, checking their Facebook accounts, or just merely surfing the web, if technology is not being used for educational purposes, students will be off task from the curriculum being taught. These...

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