The use of computer technology in the classroom is growing to be a major concern for parents and educators. How much time should children be allowed to browse on the Internet? Is the Internet affecting the children, the future of our society, and the ability to focus? Should parents and educators trust the websites that students get their information from? Although the Internet provides access to live video chatting, music streaming, and online books, it is not the miracle cure that many believe that it is. The Internet does an absolutely fabulous job of making what may have seemed impossible possible; it is responsible for a reduced attention span, ability to read in-depth and analyze literature.
First amongst the problems is the speed. The Internet can access an enormous amount of information in less than a few seconds with a few typed letters and the click of a button. Search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask offer an endless number of links leading to what an individual is inquiring about. The danger there is that students do not necessarily know how to select their sites wisely. Also, there are websites including GoogleMaps and Mapquest that make finding a destination and/or direction to such destination a “piece of cake.” Such websites are without a doubt handy and provide a driver with step by step directions. However, when the satellite is out or a GPS malfunctions, the driver is out of luck. The Internet is making society’s ability to remember and do such tasks as driving to an unfamiliar place essentially impossible to do without its help.
In Nicholas Carr’s article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” he writes about how he notices more and more how his ability to focus and find research on his own has deeply been tampered by the fact that Google gives him everything he needs in just a few clicks (501). “Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, being looking for something else to do…The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle,” Carr wrote (500). The concern about search engines like Google and websites including Mapquest is that the people of society definitely do have an unlimited access to information that they, in the past, may not have been able to obtain so easily, but because doing so is that easy, the mind’s ability to focus, organize, research, and remember on its own is and will continue to decrease.
As computers become even more universal, society will see that the Internet is undermining one’s ability to engage in intellectual reading and to explore the resources of a library. “Libraries are in serious trouble,” says Mark Y. Herring of Education Digest (46). The Internet is “too efficient” and openly available to students. Unfortunately that is causing them to say, “Who needs the library, right?”
Although one can search on the Internet for just about anything he needs for a research paper, the internet is not organized like a...