In theory, having technology in the classroom is great. It makes the teachers’ work much easier by allowing students to visualize difficult concepts. It does so much to reduce the workload of instructors. Furthermore, students are surrounded by the tech at home, which makes its introduction in the classroom quite appropriate. Because they are so good at handling tech devices, EdTech takes advantage of these skills to improve their learning experience. However, once EdTech is implemented, some problems emerge. The use of technology in classrooms can have some undesired effects, such as these below.
- Inability to Keep Up with Rapidly Changing Technology
Let’s face it; not all schools can afford the latest educational technology. Technology changes quite fasting, requiring frequent upgrades. Upgrades are far from cheap. Furthermore, they require an extra workforce from IT proficient individuals. Hiring these experts costs even more money. When you factor in additional costs that come with training teachers to handle the new equipment, schools that are already struggling with funding for traditional activities are bound to lag.
Apart from upgrades, there is the issue of repairs and maintenance. Devices in the hands of students are bound to get damaged. Ensuring they are repaired or replaced is a huge cost in most schools. This hinders effective learning.
- Short Attention Spans
According to research, students today are easily distracted. Thanks to technology, information is available instantly. When a student is curious about something, he googles it and gets the answer in less than a second. This instantaneous access to information has created an impatient generation. Very few students are interested in processes that do not yield results instantly. The curiosity that would drive students to read through volumes of scholarly articles is slowly dying off. Technology is impairing critical thinking skills in students. In an era of fake news and dubious sources, young people need critical thinking skills more than ever.
Lack of Alignment between Technology and Curriculum
Educational curriculum was originally designed to have students solve certain problems on their own to learn various skills. With technology, students can easily get the solution without going through the procedures. Take, for example, a math calculator that only requires values to be keyed in to answer. Such technology may take away from the intent of the educational curriculum.
- Reduced Social Benefits
The school does more than teach students. Many social skills are developed as a child grows in the school environment. Through interactions with peers, they learn social cues that come in handy throughout their lives. Face-to-face time with teachers makes the lessons more tangible, practical, and applicable in real life. With technology like eLearning, most of these important aspects of the school environment are missing. Students who learn in online classrooms do not enjoy the social benefits that come with a brick and mortar institution.
Cheating has also been made much easier by technology. Gone are the days when students would write a cheat sheet and sneak it into the classroom. Now, they can swipe the screen on their device for an instant solution from an essay writer service.
- Potential Security Breaches
This problem is multi-faceted. Security breaches can be in the personal lives of students. Young learners are given access to the internet without proper training on how to protect themselves from malicious software, and internet users can easily become targets. They can reveal personal information that puts their safety at risk. Without adequate supervision, technology can result in children being harmed. Students should be kept safe online.
On the other hand, the school’s private data can be at risk. Curious students may venture into the school’s network to see how far they get. In the process, private information can be leaked. They may access administrative files that should be private. It takes a well-built network to prevent such mistakes from happening.
- Final Take
As with any new invention, there are as many risks as there are benefits. In the case of educational technology, the benefits often outweigh the risks. Although there are challenges in terms of the cost of upgrading technology, students having short attention spans, lack of congruence with the curriculum, and reduced social benefits, there are many reasons why tech has a place in the classroom. Because technology can be manipulated for the benefit of learners, it should still be used as a learning tool. At the same time, adequate measures such as proper planning should be taken to mitigate the risks outlined in this article.
For more articles, visit OD Blog.