Technology and Education

Negative Effects of Technology on Education

The internet is the real collaborative force within education, as the mere involvement of any form of technology does not guarantee substantial effects on education quality. Technology is producing a decline in critical thinking and analysis. "Reading for pleasure, which has declined among young people in recent decades, enhances thinking and engages the imagination in a way that visual media such as video games and television do not."

When discussing the effects of technology and education, the first assumption must be that this phenomenon really implies the association of the internet with education.

Technology Overload

Like in all things, there is a golden rule that governs technology's impact on education -"moderation in everything." Technology can easily be overused within the classroom, and this can cause negative effects on the entire learning experience. Some of these effects are already seen from student texting and internet usage (school-related and trivial) during class. There are also increased incidences of plagiarism for assignments and an overall lack of respect for correct language usage within essays. This indicates the effect that technology may have had on the current generation's thinking abilities and the overall power of the internet.

Changing Learning Priorities

The main effect from technology may be that the children of the future are not concerned with details. However, it is hard to say if this is a good thing or a bad thing in the future especially with the universal availability of the internet. The students of the future prioritize where the information can be found (i.e. via Google) rather than what the information actually is. The constant stimulation that comes from the internet has also taken away the ability of students to generally focus in the classroom. A New York Times article showed how constant stimulation by email, text messages, and online video games created a profound obstacle to the focus and productivity of both young people and adults, all of which can also be used for E-learning purposes. This stimulation causes a short attention span, and even without the internet as a distraction, many young people struggle as is to manage time wisely and resist impulsive behavior.

This brings us to the next question - is the next generation "doomed" or "lucky" because of their privileges to information. There is a general decline in higher-order thinking skills, and an overall re-wiring of teenage brains. This reveals a deeper intellectual laziness that the Web has also made possible with the rise of more video-based information resources as opposed to textual resources. In addition to the effect on student learning, E-learning will also affect the education economy heavily. In 2011 in New York City, 6100 Teaching Positions are set to be eliminated amid increased tech spending, which is effectively eight percent of all teachers in the city. The correlation is fairly simple. More online schooling will lead to less classroom teaching, and this will result in a lower teacher employment rate that will focus on online classrooms than in the traditional classroom environment.

Potential Employment Effects

By a conservative estimate, let us that assume that fifty percent of School Districts employ E-learning and technology spending like New York City. Let us also assume that eight percent (like New York City) of teachers within those school districts will not be needed within the education system. By these assumptions, at least four percent of all teachers within the US workforce would be laid off. The realization is that this is just the beginning, especially due to the improvements in the New York City high school graduation rates from fifty-nine percent in 2009 to sixty-one in 2010 and so-on.