It has been said throughout time that, necessity is the mother of invention, but what facilitates necessity in today’s modern society has become a vast gray area. As a society, we are use to, and so dependent on, such modern conveniences, as high-speed internet, cell phones, laptops, tablets, search engines, and GPS, so much so that we would not know how to function without them. The dependence on modern technology is making way for a whole generation that is incapable of doing anything manually and potentially affecting their social skills, as well as making their brains lazy.Background of the Current Issue/Problem
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Mary Scorpati, a high school teacher at Kearney High School, states that students in her class are quite computer proficient, but are severely lacking in writing and spelling skills(Schevitz,2012).
“The spelling and writing skills of many of my students are extremely below grade level. Some have rarely used a dictionary and don't know what guide words are. They have so much knowledge about the computer, and use spell check to correct mistakes. Hand them a cell phone, and they can text message all day long. Give them a calculator and they can figure out any problem, but hand them a pencil and paper and they go blank” (Schevitz, 2012).
Benefits of Proposal
Students can use search engines, such as Google, to find the right answers to their homework, they can even solve math problems online for free without any effort or thought process. This however is not without consequence. Having the “instant gratification” effect makes it less likely that a student is going to retain the information, let alone comprehend the importance of the information they were just handed(Schevitz,2012). Solving math problems on line does not teach a student the importance of identifying formulas and order of operations, as well as how to implement them. A study conducted by child development experts at Harvard University, revealed a startling low amount of children that were actually able to perform math functions with paper and pencil. Those numbers compared to those that had full use of the internet varied drastically (Parker-Pope, 2010).
The study showed that student’s math scores fell short when they had to apply math skills manually and were not able to search the internet for the answers (Parker-Pope, 2010). Twenty years ago, when there was a research project assigned, students would go to the library where encyclopedias, dictionaries, and books were utilized to complete the project. This process would take hours, and though it may have seemed tedious compared to today where students have all the information at their fingertips, students were more likely to remember and learn from this form of research. Kristen Combus, a child psychologist at Duke University, stated, “Our society is changing very fast, however education isn't changing enough to keep up” She recalled an argument she had with a student about cursive handwriting. “His handwriting was a mess and I asked him to redo his paragraph.
He then responded with "I have to turn it in typed. Why would I write it neatly in cursive?" (Edutopia, 2008). A survey by the National School Boards Association indicates a very large number of students spending around nine hours a week doing computerized social networking and another 10 hours watching television. Other surveys show a majority of high school students doing an hour or less of written homework a day. ( Oliverira,2012).
Implementation of Proposal
By implementing some basic practices, and subtle changes to educational standards, we can prove to children that technology is beneficial, but being self-sufficient far outweighs the advantages. Schools can make writing mandatory until sophomore year, implementing typing as a secondary source. Spell check functions should be disabled until the final draft process of research and term papers. The basics need to be taught first before students can learn to appreciate the conveniences of modern technology (Parker-Pope, 2010).
Technology assists our children in obtaining all of these skills. More so today than ever before in history, students have the ability to research any topic. They are not bound by classroom or library walls. Technology has opened doors to a seemingly infinite well of information, which is not always accurate. Therefore, they need to learn how to sift through it all and get the “good stuff.” This seemingly infinite well of information and
current bank of technology has also allowed students to truly invest themselves in their education by developing personal educational plans or studying fields of particular interest to them (Parker-Pope, 2010).
When students are actively engaged in their own learning to reach his or her own ultimate potential, everybody wins. As the world continues to embrace and evolve the Internet, businesses and organizations are increasingly looking to tap into this resource. It is in the best interest of educators, and professionals in general, to be aware of what the Internet has to offer. We can choose to sit back and wish it would all just go away because it’s too hard to find the time for it, or we can choose to embrace it, and look for simple ways to learn more about it.
Another unavoidable fact is the growing desire for experience and familiarity with the Internet and other computer technologies as a hiring requirement in the educational field. There are undeniable benefits that come with technology, but there are far more disadvantages if a student is unable to realize them (Schevitz, 2012).
Today, every human activity is dependent upon various tools, machines, and systems, from growing food to providing shelter to communication, healthcare, and entertainment. High-speed internet, cell phones, laptops, tablets, search engines, and GPS make possible things that humans have never been able to do before. This collection of devices, capabilities, and the knowledge that accompanies them is called technology. We can say that "Living without technology is like living without air" in this technical world of today. Broadly speaking, technology is how people modify the world to suit their own purposes. If students do not comprehend the importance of the basics, then they will never learn to appreciate the importance of technology(Schevitz,2012).
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