The 4 Downsides to Technology in the Classroom
Technology is the future, they say, but it’s actually right here with us. With the growing integration of technology into almost all aspects of our lives, schools are quick to add more technology to the classroom. Many schools are adopting tech-based learning, smart boards, and laptops into everyday classroom culture. But every rose has its thorn, and technology is certainly no exception. We want to share with you four of our concerns about the incorporation of technology in the classroom.
It is easy to be sucked into a digital distraction. While it’s true that distractions have been misdirecting students’ attention since slate chalkboards were a part of the classroom, devices can certainly prove to be too tempting to resist. Even our most focused students can be overwhelmed by the easy access to social media or a gaming app. Depending on the teacher supervision, it may be easier to hide being distracted on a tablet than if a student were daydreaming or playing with something on their desk. With so many of our students struggling to focus in the classroom, the fewer distractions available to them, the better.
2. Quantity over quality
Just because every student has access to a laptop doesn’t mean they are getting quality technological education. With this push toward one-to-one devices in classrooms, many teachers are being left behind in how to implement that technology. It is hard work to incorporate the use of technology into certain school programs. Many teachers, especially those of younger students, may spend more time fixing technological glitches than teaching how technology can enrich our learning.
Quality over quantity is often the better choice, especially when it comes to screen time. The quality of the screen time used by our students is completely dependent on what is on that screen. Schools may not have the time or resources to seek out or purchase those highly effective programs. Some schools may only be using their one-on-one devices for finding information on the Internet and word processing, which are not particularly enriching uses of technology. Technology can certainly enhance learning, but only under the best possible circumstances, which may be hard to create.
Socialization with peers and adults is one of the most important things school provides their students. This develops conflict-resolution skills, an understanding of nonverbal communication, compassion and empathy and many other critical skills that a functioning human being needs in their life. The more time our students spend on their one-to-one devices, the less time they spend interacting with their peers.
4. Adding to too much daily screen time already
This final downside is the most concerning. Teens spend an average of 9 hours per day plugged into their various devices. The screen time spent at school only adds to that bloated number. We are going to explore our concerns about screen time in a forthcoming blog post. For now, we’ll just say screen time adversely affects the developing brain in the areas of empathy, attention and focus, self-esteem, impulse control, processing speed, spatial awareness, and fine-motor skills.
We hope this post has illuminated some of the downsides to more technology in the classroom. Please be sure to check out our follow up blog post about screen time’s effect on children’s brains. Until then, maybe exchange some after-dinner TV for a family game night and see who is truly the Uno® champion!