We all believe or want to believe that technology development is something good. It shows we’re moving forward, we’re getting better, we’re pushing the limits. But does it always make sense? Do we always need to introduce more gadgets and software to all fields? Is it always justified with thorough thinking and planning?
I doubt that.
I want to raise a taboo subject of technology in education (and in classrooms in general). More and more schools are facing this problem, including Kozminski University.
The first thing you notice when you enter the classroom is that literally 90% of students do not pay attention to the teacher, but do pay attention to their smartphones, tablets and laptops. What is the point of going to a class if all you do is scrolling Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat? And why do teachers never react?
It is said that problems with attention can be blamed on technology. You can argue and say we’re a generation of multitasking, but guess what? Researches show multitasking is actually impossible and what you do is more of a “task-switching”.
My point is not criticizing students for not paying attention in a class. I’m guilty myself! Moreover, being addicted to social media is not something my generation chose. It’s rather something we inherited from previous generations and are forced to live in.
Let’s look at the problem from a different perspective. Why would someone pay attention to the full-of-text PowerPoint slides that he knows he’ll receive before the exam? Slides that can be read at home in 1 hour? Of course, there are teachers who try to make their classes more interesting and engaging, but even in spite of those efforts, PowerPoint in killing education. There’s no point in making notes when they’re already made and sent to you. Not to mention taking notes with a pen and paper, which happens to be the best way to learn.
Another taboo is cheating. We’re in Poland where cheating is, unfortunately, socially accepted. Teachers pretend they don’t see that, but smartphones and access to the Internet make cheating easier than ever before. With practically no reaction and no penalties, the value of your diploma is getting low. It is also said that with easy access to academic information, any academic writing is no longer original. Is that what we wanted?
Of course, there are amazing companies that help people learn (like Brainly, Skillshare, Khan Academy, Lynda, Codeacademy and many many others), knowledge is now more accessible than ever before. But is school really teaching us how to learn? Or just how to pass the exams?
Some people say technology is making us stupid and it’s hard not to agree with that. Others will list trends that are changing education for better and you can’t argue with that either. Technology is getting better every day and we probably should be excited about it, but are we actually ready for it? Maybe it’s time to stop for a moment and think not only about how we can implement technology at schools, but also how we can reduce its negative influence. After all, education is our future.