Technology in education: pros and cons
Nowadays, it is hardly to imagine your life without the Internet let alone all that stylish telephones, notebooks and tablets. Scientific know-how seems to be unwittingly encroaching on our lives at an unprecedented rate and speed. But we must ask ourselves a question: is technology good or bad? Tracing back to the 70s, 80s, or even 90s of the twentieth century people successively went without hi-techs in classrooms and at home. Why have we fallen into the trap of computers? In this essay about technology I should like to discuss the use of technology in education. So, what are benefits of technology and their effects on our abilities to acquire new information?
As anything in the world techs have their pros and cons. Their use in tutoring and learning always sparks up a controversial debate. I suggest our looking at pros firstly. With the introduction technologies to education there is no need any more for a lecture to be delivered in a class. Really, it has revolutionized the traditional way we always used to think about the learning process. Machinery has made it more effective, more flexible, and interactive. For instance, 20 years ago translators required a huge amount of time to find a word in a dictionary. Now in split seconds they can find any word in any dictionary, moreover the word can be pronounced by native speakers and natural contexts may be given where this or that word could be used. Sounds astounding, isn’t it? The technological advancement gave also birth to the so called term “flipped learning” which Wikipedia defines as: students watch online lectures, collaborate in online discussions, or carry out research at home and engage in concepts in the classroom with the guidance of a mentor. With the technological breakthrough our lives become easier to handle. They provide us with an enormous flexibility, they spare our times taking on tedious and hectic work that we were meant to do heretofore. Yet another advantage of technology is that they enable us with the possibility to communicate and spread ideas globally. We can just boot up a laptop, go online, and start surfing the web in the search of a person holding the same views as yours. I remember my grandpa who could not call himself a techie or a computer buff but he truly enjoyed using it for his university classes. He told me that when he was a student he was taken up with books in a library for hours and there always were books only for the élite. Now you can find mountains of e-books, e-magazines and papers in free access on the Internet. I forgot to tell about one more merit of hi-techs. They are just a godsend for people doing their part-time studies and for teachers who can use the class time for explaining difficult points, doing practical researches with their students, so to say, they are more bound to have a constructive engagement. They do not need to explain sometimes boring theoretical issues which students can watch or read beforehand and devote their time at classes to more practical things. Those are the advantages the technology can provide us with but are they all that good?
Bearing all good things we have said about technologies in mind we have to get down to discussing their drawbacks. Let be crystal clear. Nevertheless immense potential computers and robotics have they cannot be all pervasive. They cannot change a face-to-face interaction; they cannot support you as a teacher sometimes can; they cannot give you an opportunity of real-time communication. Indeed recent studies have shown that with the coming of hi-tech caused new social issues to pop up. People, especially youngsters who are growing up with a tablet in their hands are bound to have problems communicating in real life. They are comfortable in their virtual world. But coming back to educational issues we should say that techs can be a great distraction. Just think how many times while studying you turn your attention to gadgets: checking your e-mail and Facebook, looking at snaps of your friends in Instagram, or reading Twitter. I consider them to be great distractors. Another thing is that technologies make us narrow-minded. People use them to cheat exams and tests. They made our lives easier but they also made cheating easier. If in past students pored over books preparing for their studies now it is enough to go online and look the answers up. So, the drawback – technologies do not make us use all our brain capacity. I would like also to say a couple of words about worries techs can conceal, in particular for young one. Along with e-books, educational media files, apps and so on and so forth, they (technologies) grant us with an access to inappropriate content (pornography, violence, and other inappropriate materials). That’s why they pose a hidden threat to a little child mind. Well, despite the new possibilities looming over horizon due to twenty-first century breakthrough people need still to learn how to use them correctly.
Weighing up the arguments stated in my essay we have arrived at a controversial conclusion. On the one hand we agree that technologies possess huge benefits: they grant both students and teachers with operational independence; makes classes and lectures flexible, interactive and entertaining. Also techs come in handy for those who study part-time or work but want to brush up their knowledge in this or that field. But on the other hand gadgets certainly have their drawbacks: they cede to face-to-face communication and support, they could draw your attention to unimportant things during your study, sometimes they create problems such as unwillingness to real-life intercourse, they could make us dull and now and then they can skew the results of exam or test making a person seem cleverer than she or he really is. In my point of view robots never will be able to change the human mind with its flexibleness and inexhaustibility, all we need is to harmonize the effectives of technologies and human experience; to take best of both worlds.