Students distracted by Technology in School

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/technology/21brain.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all&

While rather lengthy, I found this article to be an interesting commentary on the role of digital communication in the upcoming generations of teens and young adults. Following the story of a 17-year-old boy named Vishal Singh, the article discusses his ambition of becoming a filmmaker and how his interest in technology possibly prevents him from getting good grades in high school.

What I liked about the article is that it did not immediately blame Vishal for his lack of focus and bad grades, but it focused on his strengths and talents for filmmaking. The article then brought into question who was to blame for the bad grades, offering a few different possibilities.

Matt Richtel, the author of the article, cited evidence that the increasing availability of technology to young people is retraining their brains to require more immediate gratification and thereby shortening their attention span on many tasks that require concentration. I agree with this part of the article and have found it to be true in many of my own experiences. Richtel also explores the option that Singh’s grades are the school system’s fault because they don’t try to teach students based on their need for digital learning tools to fit their learning styles.

So what do you think? Should schools try harder to incorporate more digital technology into the classroom? Or is it the fault of students for not conforming to the learning style of the school systems. Post a comment below! 

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4 thoughts on “Students distracted by Technology in School

  1. I think technology in schools is a wonderful and powerful tool. From a young age I had been introduced to the computer and slowly learned how to use it. Personally I think technology should be integrated (though I may be biased considering RIT is a techie school) because it can be used as a means of teaching and it’s a great resource for learning. With that being said, it is becoming a huge distraction. I myself find that when I’m on the computer doing an assignment, I always find myself straying from what I intended to do ad instead find myself checking me email, or browsing Facebook. Technology is both incredibly helpful but also can be a huge detriment.

  2. The world is changing and I think education should change with it. I know back in high school we did not have as much technology education as one would wish, especially one who wishes to have a future job in the tech world. Maybe instead of turning away from technology such as facebook or using cellphones, maybe we should intertwine it like creating class blogs and facebook pages and grading students on that.

  3. I think I’m on the edge with this topic, yes technology is a great tool that should be used to educate, but there has to times when you draw the line and say no to technology. Personally I believe that schools should use technology where it is needed, for instance, use software, programs, and computers in the programs that require it. Our major, along with the whole CIAS school absolutely needs to use technology, but I don’t think that the business school, or classes like ethics, psychology, microeconomics and macroeconomics need to use technology. In those types of classes I think they would be distracting because they are not necessary to learn. I think that technology becomes a distraction when it isn’t required to use in order to learn the information you need, for example if you in a class that teaches the basics of photography you’ll need to actually hold the camera in your hands and practice with the camera to apply and understand what you’re learning. Schools need to learn when to apply technology and when to hold off on technology, yes it’s amazing especially the opportunities we have with it today but if we rely to much on it, that could create more problems than solutions.

  4. Technology in school can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is good in the sense of being able to access large amounts of content almost instantly. It is bad when students are distracted by technology whether they are just playing with their phone during class or checking Facebook or surfing websites when they should be paying attention. I feel the good out ways the bad in this case and technology helps teaching more than being distracting. Technology also allows for an easier way to access content inside and outside the class room.

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