The combination of technology and education always seems to be a tense one. I remember in primary school we weren’t allowed any phones, game boys, digital watches or tamagotchis; we could however, use the classroom computer on special occasions (ah, the good ole days of Windows ’95). The emphasis was obviously on exercise and ‘proper’ communication, with any technology use being seen as unsociable and unhealthy.
Secondary school was a major leap forward then, and we were actually allowed to use calculators in class! More than that, we could have mobiles (as long as they weren’t seen). We had lessons on how to use computers. We even had to use the internet for coursework! Now depending on which school you went to, you may have had CD players, projectors, or even smartboards. I’ve since heard of one school that gets all the students to buy tablets, then supplies them with the ebooks of the content. Needless to say, my school was well below this standard; it owned 5 tape players, 2 old projectors, and an ancient TV/video player combo. Any CD players were due to disgruntled teachers kindly leaving them open-source in the staff room.
You can imagine my wonder and awe when I came to college and experienced its pure technological power! Computer labs available for free use, WIFI that students could access, Blackboard, powerpoint slides, lecturers that emailed you with relevant information, Clickers, and much much more.
Do I feel that this new cyber-world diminishes learning (e.g. the distraction of laptops in lecturers), social ability or fitness levels? No. If anything, it enhances it:
- The link between education and laptop use is clear, so I won’t even justify that with reasoning.
- Without the plethora of social network sites (ignoring Facebook!), it would be difficult to stay in ‘The Know’. If something’s happening, you can be sure that you’re laptop or phone will tell you quicker than your friend. (How often have you heard: “Oh, you didn’t hear about the party? But I posted it on Facebook…”).
- Although a heated debate surrounds technology and fitness, I strongly believe that health apps, club emails, and adventure programs help keep my motivation for fitness.
So does technology work for or against education? For it, in the general sense. The problem is that the student has to be mature enough to realise that ” shutdown /s /f /t 00 /m PRINCIPALS_COMP ” really isn’t as funny as you might think…