Over time, technology has become more present in our academic lives. It’s had a major impact on how teachers and students learn. The question that society now faces is does technology in the classroom have an overall positive or negative effect on students' education.
There are several positive effects that technology has brought upon the academic world. In schools such as Xaverian which are reliant on the usage of iPads, both students and teachers are not required to carry around heavy textbooks or other supplies. The use of ebooks is a cheaper and more organized way for students to learn.
Another positive aspect of technology in schools is the use of organized learning management systems. These sites are an easier and more efficient method for students to keep up with their assignments as well as their grades. School sites help teachers to keep better track of individual classes in order to share information and notes with their students.
Having technology in the classroom allows students access to a whole world of information at their fingertips. As Theo Beinart ‘26, a member of the robotics team at Xaverian states, “Technology helps us to learn about new things in a faster and easier way.”
Students can access several learning resources, such as videos on Youtube or lessons on Khan Academy, outside of the information their teachers provide them. This allows students to go above and beyond when it comes to gathering and interpreting information. They can better expand their horizons and gain a greater understanding of whatever subject matter they are learning.
Finally, the constant reliance on technology in the classroom allows students to learn several skills relating to different aspects of technology. Students' use of Google Docs, Slides, and even Notability are all technological skills that can be used in the workforce. These skills are valuable tools that better prepare students for the future. Through the use of technology in the classroom, students are being exposed to real-world scenarios.
However, while technology in the classroom definitely has its benefits, it also has several disadvantages.
Too much reliance on and constant use of technology can be a major distraction for students, so much so that it will result in students going off task. Whether playing games or scrolling through social media, students will lose focus on their tasks at hand. In 2019, a survey was conducted of over 14,000 middle and high school students in Ontario, Canada. Over 50% of the students responded that they had neglected their homework due to spending non-school-related time on a technological device.
If not used properly, technology can be a distraction that could lead to academic problems for students. According to futureeducators.org, “A need exists for appropriate restrictive measures on gadgets in education to ensure they further learning goals and aren’t used, for example, to play games or use social media for pure entertainment.” The distraction of technology can negatively impact a student’s effort towards their schoolwork.
As we know, technology has definitely made student’s lives easier, as they can now search the web for information outside of what their teachers are providing them. However, many educators worry that students have too much free reign through technology. This could undoubtedly lead to issues such as plagiarism.
With recent technological advancements, students now have access to AI platforms such as ChatGPT. According to the National Education Association, “Many educators fear the program threatens academic integrity, encouraging new methods of cheating and plagiarism. Because of the program’s simplicity, accessibility, and convenience, students have been using it to generate answers to homework and even entire essays, claiming the chatbot’s writing as their own.” The misuse of technology has led to students being expelled from school for repeated plagiarism.
It can be argued that technology in the classroom is both helpful and if not used properly, harmful to the student. However, one thing is clear, technology is changing how students learn, for better and for worse.