Well, according to my cousin who is a grade school Spanish teacher, technology has officially begun making kids “dumber.” Are you a teacher? Do you agree? Is technology making kids dumber?
Is technology making kids dumber?
My cousin, Lisa, is a pretty savvy person in general. In other words, she doesn’t BS a lot. She isn’t one to talk about a subject she knows nothing about and makes it seem like she does. Instead, she sticks to stuff she knows and she knows teaching and the education system. Especially the fact she teaches in the strict educational state of New York, her dues have been paid and then some. When she tells me that technology (click here to visit education.com for more information on this topic) is having a negative effect on children’s ability to learn, I believe her. Even without her going into a ton of detail on the subject, I can see how this could easily be the case. Instead of solving the math problem, why not try to Google and find the answer? Instead of doing research on the topic for your semester paper, you simply hop on the internet, find a few good sites about your topic, and copy and paste some paragraphs together (Then of course change a few words around to avoid being found on plagiarism searchers. Kids can awfully smart with this type of stuff). Why write things out when you can spell-check your way on the computer to a perfectly spelled paper? Another reason to ask yourself is technology making kids dumber!? It would certainly seem that gone are the days of using the good old library for research. What child is going to take the time to travel to a library, look through all these different books, actually having to read some of them, and then be required to handwrite notes, all this apparently a huge task for children of today’s society, when they can instead fire up their computer, sit in a comfy chair, no need for a pen or pencil, and Google search their way to an A+. The answer is simple for today’s kids. Option Two. Everywhere you look, you see kids with their faces buried in their phones. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, the list is never-ending! You see kids as young as seven or eight years old with smartphones in today’s society. Why you might want to ask the parents. Responses generally include some variation of “this way we can always get a hold of them!” Now, I want to make one thing clear, I am 28 years old. I grew up with pre-cell phones and am now a full-blown cell phone user. However, when I grew up, cell phones were not in play yet. People were still swearing they would never get a cell phone because “I don’t want people to always be able to get ahold of me!” (and now every single one of those people has a cell phone). It may seem like centuries ago, but only a little over a decade ago, we actually used home phones to locate our children. Moreover, if your eight-year-old child is at a friend’s house, you would think they are being supervised, right? Therefore, you can call the parents of your child, right? Does your child really need a cell phone to locate them? The answer, in my opinion, is no. I think children should be at least sixteen years old before getting a cell phone and I am sure many others would say 18.
However, now that I got that rant out of the way, back to my original topic. Kids are getting dumber because of technology. What is your opinion? I feel that technology certainly has its positives, but like my cousin, it has its negatives as well. I wish we could find the best balance of technology and computer use in school coupled with traditional teaching methods that have worked for decades. I realize that businesses in today’s world are generally all tracked through some sort of computer program, so learning technology young can help kids when they grow up and become entrepreneurs or start a career. This is why I do not feel technology should be entirely banned from schools, but a good balance seems to be the best solution. I hope teachers are forcing kids to have to do some of their research in books as opposed to on the internet. I hope kids still are being required to handwrite papers and learn the spelling of English words rather than using the computer and just trying to get the spelling close just so they can run spell-check at the end. All these things are why I keep playing back my cousin’s comment and asking myself, is technology making kids dumber?
Is my cousin right? Is technology making kids dumber? I hope not, but she has a valid point. While I realize that we must embrace technology with open arms because its inclusion in society is inevitable, I just feel we should be smart about how we mesh technology into our children’s lives. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.