Technology and Its Effects on Students

Subject: Tech & Engineering
Pages: 7
Words: 1736
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: College

Young Americans are spending each waking minute on a smart phone, television, computer or electronic device. Those aged between eight and18 spend approximately about seven and a half hours on these devices (Lewin, 2010, para.1).There is a correlation between the high reliance of technology and poor grades due to behaviour problems. Excessive use of media has been associated with students getting bored or sad. Despite these above effects, there are ways which technology has enhanced education. This research paper will major on the positive effects of technology on education, how it has changed how and where students learn. Other topics include how age and gender affect the use of technology in education, challenges caused by technology and rules that should guide student when using technology.

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The students who spent more time on the media report to be more sad and bored. The children are also addicted to this technology and some cannot imagine their lives without them. Since so many hours are spent sitting, cases of increased obesity in students is associated with these devices. Younger schoolchildren are also opting out of sports in order to spend time on these activities.

Dr Michael Rich, who has conducted research on children and use of technology, says that among the heavy users of technology, those spending more that 16 hours, 47 percent most had C or less. However, those consuming media for an average of 3 hours scored higher grades. He also reported that the heavy media users had a harder time getting along with parents.

There are many positive effects of technology on education. First, it has made access to information easier and faster. With a click of a button you get information.You can access search engines like Google and wikipedia. According to Iowa Public Television (2008, para.1) knowledge is now at the students fingertips this has caused a boon to today’s education.

Students learn differently technology has helped student who do not easily learn from teachers. These students can learn on their own, which can be easily done through technology. Technology has increased the motivation for learning. This is the case especially when students are given tasks. The students become more curious and are eager to discover new things. The students become eager to show off and share this knowledge with fellow students. There is also immediate feedback from technology when student use computers. This feedback helps to give one a sense of accomplishment, generally, humans thrive on appreciation. A computer also gives one a sense of power.

Technology has enabled students to participate in difficult assignments. Technology has encouraged students to be team players. They provided peer tutoring and encourage cooperation in handling assignments. Technology based tasks have subtasks; hence there is a need to rely on each other for help.

Students have become keener on their audience needs due to technology. They have come up with multimedia products that entertain as well as educate. This has made learning more enjoyable. With use of media like animation, video presentations look more professional. This has also increased student creativity and design skills. Technology has helped in performing authentic tasks. Consequently, students are better bale to make learning decisions and evaluate their learning goals and progress.

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Though technology has its positive effects it poses some challenges in education. Teachers have complained that technology has distracted students on substantive content. They sometimes get up in less important features such as using fancy graphics and fonts. When students have assignments, they access the internet to surf content not related to the assignment given. The use of media is cutting social interactions with their parents. The children do not talk much with their parents instead opt to play games and entertain themselves using technology. This media also make teenagers less social because technology is taking the place of face-to-face interaction.

Traditionally, students would sit with a teacher in a classroom to get educated. Technology has changed the learning process for learners. It has affected how, when and where students receive education. Technology has made it cheaper to access material and resources online and by other means. You simply order and pay for the product online. Students can also conduct their research online cheaply.

Today the form of learning has changed and been enhanced by technology. There is online education. Here student do not have to be in a classroom to get educated. A student can also learn at the pace and time they wish. Students of the same class can meet virtually to discuss issues. They do not have to meet in the same physical space at a specific time. For instance, a student can pose questions online then other students answer and share ideas on the question.

The role of the teacher has changed to facilitator. This is because the teacher is not the only dispenser of information. The teacher gives tasks defining the goals and gives guidelines. He then checks the work students are performing is in line with what is required. The teacher also gives suggestions on how to carry out the tasks.

Students heavily use the media for various reasons. First, the media use has grown due to portable and ease of access. For instance, teenagers can carry ipods and smart phones everywhere and even to bed and fall asleep as they use this technology.

Students sometimes misuse the media; hence there is a need for rules to guide the use of technology. Teachers have come up with guidelines to govern how students use the net to prevent misuse. An example is teaching the netiquette. These include politeness, using appropriate language not revealing your private details and those of other students. Students should not to cause network traffic by downloading very large files at peak time. Parents should set rules on technology use such as turning of television and computer during mealtime, keeping computers out of the bedroom and punishment when technology is misused. Parents should also restrict the time used on technology.

Gender affects the use of technology in education. A study conducted in 1994 found that among heavy computer users, four out of five were boys. The study was composed of student from fourth to sixth grade (Sakamoto, 1994, p. 4).Girls like computers but their interest diminishes when they reach adolescence. They are also resistant to go into careers such as computer science compared to boys (Phelps-Borrowman n.d.).This is creating a gender gap in technology. Some scholars blame the gender gap on lack of role models for females. They encourage the use of female guest speakers in the technology career.

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Girls’ view on computers differs from that of boys. Girls have a tendency of seeing them as way of achieving a goal. A computer is also regarded by the female gender as a useful tool for enabling effective communication, such as sending and receiving electronic mail (Chaika, 1999, p. 3). To girls, technology is more of a tool for communication and collaboration.

Boys on the other hand, view the computer as a recreation tool. Boys use computer for play and exploration. Boys love the challenges computer pose and challenging those limits. Boys shape computer technology compared to boys; they are more likely to post blogs about use of software. This means that boys are shaping future technology. This is the reason why technology is more customised to suite the boys.

Most video games also appeal to the male market for instance Final doom, Myst, Civilisation 2 and Warcraft II. The games that are girl oriented are about topics on dating, applying make up and shopping. The use of trivial topics in girl-oriented games is demeaning. The programs should encourage critical thinking and creativity.

Parents and teachers should influence the females to pursue technology as it is it promotes critical thinking among the girls greatly. Parents can expose the girls to technology early; they should find it fun and experience how it makes life easier. Parents are encouraged to buy technology that interests the girl. The parents should encourage girls when the do well in their technological assignments.

A study done shows that during online study. The study shows that girls chose to work in groups on assignments. However, boys who opted to work individually (Davis, 2009, para. 5).Online education mean for boys differs from that of girls. For boys there is more emphasis on visual objects like videos and games. The delivery of the content in the course is in bits. For girls, more information is given at the lesson begins.

Technology is being used to enhance negative gender stereotypes. The woman is portrayed as being weak and dependent. She is dresses up seductively to lure a man to help her. The television portrays men as people using technology, the geeks and computer experts are usually male. The male character in television is portrayed to use technology to bring destruction in the world.Technology depicts women using technology to help others and save the world.

The girls usually chose to be passive in participating in playing computer games during their free time. This is because the boys control computer use. This causes fear among girls who would rather keep off rather than hurt their self-esteem (Koch, 1995, para, 3). The absence of women in information technology sector is causing a limited range of perspectives and talents. Women are also missing lucrative career opportunities.

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Difference in age affects the attitude and use of technology in education. For instance, many professors and teachers have learnt a lot from their younger students about technology. This is because younger people are more eager to learn about technology and catch on fast. Older persons have a less favourable attitude about technology. For instance, the numbers of face book users above the age of 40 are few compared to the number of youth using the same. Toward adolescence, girls’ interest in technology seems to decline.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that the media is part of the modern life. Technology has been used motivate learners and increase their creativity. Since technology can be misused there is need to set boundaries on the amount of time children spend using this media. There is need to address the gender disparities that have been brought by technology. Girls should be taught from an early age the importance of technology.Girls also need more encouragement and more attention from parents and teachers to make them good at use of technology and to make them confident.

References

Chaika, M. (1999). Ethical considerations in Gender – Oriented Technology.

Crossroads, Association for Computing Machinery. 2010. Web.

Davis, M. R. (2009). E-Learning’s Gender Factor. Web.

Koch, C. (1995). Is equal computer time fair for girls? A computer culture in a grade 7/8 classroom. Web.

Lewin, T. (2010). If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re probably. The New York Times. Web.

Phelps-Borrowman, M. C. (n.d.) Gender Equity in Education. 2010. Web.

Sakamoto, A. (1994). Video game use and the development of socio-cognitive abilities in children: Three Surveys of elementary school students. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2010. Web.