Technology Interferes With Education

Technology Interferes With Education

Ashley Logan

Slick iPads, glossy Macs,and compact laptops have become common objects in Miramonte classrooms. Although the use of technology has many benefits, we should consider some of the downsides to the ever increasing use of screens.

According to a study done by psychologists Pam Mueller of Princeton and Daniel Oppenheimer of UCLA, students remember material better when they write it down instead of type it up. The study had students take written or typed notes of a lecture or TED talk. After this they did 30 minutes of mental exercises and then took a quiz on the video. The study found that the long-handed note-takers performed better than the typing note-takers.

Many students can relate to that heart-dropping sensation when they realize their unsaved essay has been deleted. Forgetting such a simple step of saving a document throws away hours of work in the time it takes to close the document.

Conveniently, Google Docs saves projects automatically but it can be glitchy on the iPad. It switches to all caps often and lags when multiple people are typing on the same document.

Taking notes on the iPad is difficult because it’s hard to format and keep up with what the teacher is saying. With a piece of paper and pencil it’s easy to add bullet points, indents, Venn diagrams, and other charts, but while using a note taking app it takes more time to add these features.

The apps aren’t always reliable. For example, if you were taking notes on an iPad and the app crashed, you would fall behind in the lecture and the notes could be deleted. If you asked for help from the teacher it would slow the whole class down.

A lot of time in class is wasted trying to solve technical difficulties. As a student in the iPad pilot program last year I can relate to the many frustrating experiences we encountered as a class. When we worked on projects there would be a variety of problems that each had to be dealt with individually by the teacher. Most of the time our technical difficulties prohibited us from progressing and time was wasted as we waited for the teacher to fix the problem.

Last year, it didn’t take long for students to realize the gaming potential of the iPads. The apps Bike Race, Dragonvale, and Instagram were quickly downloaded and used in class. With two clicks of the home bottom students easily accessed their recently opened apps and could switch between games and notes. This distraction prevented students from paying attention and distracted others who sat by them as well.

The classes that use iPads are very reliant on students remembering to bring them. If any student forgets their iPad or didn’t charge it then there isn’t much they can do during class.

Although using technology in school has many advantages, it can become an inconvenience when it slows down the progress of classes and frustrates students and teachers.