Technology: Destroying or Improving our Children?

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This article is part of Sociecity Youth on Assignment, a program where Sociecity Editors work with high school students and their teachers to help students create articles that bring to light real, challenging social issues affecting their lives. [/box]

by Ruby Hidalgo
Gunderson High School, San Jose, USA

Photo: Ruby Hidalgo, Sociecity

Photo: Ruby Hidalgo, Sociecity

There are two common opinions when it comes to technology and the use of it in this generation, that technology is improving our way of living, or technology is hurting the development of our generation.

Although some individuals believe that, because of technology, our generation is wasting their time as they tweet about the latest episode of Honey Boo Boo, I believe this assumption is inaccurate.

Before technology was available as easily as it is now people occupied themselves with other things. In the sixties the radio became popular and people began to listen to it just as much as we use our technology now. People used it to stay informed of what was going on around the world. But to the older people who were raised with out radio it seemed as a waste of time. The same phenomenon occurred when the television was introduced.

Our generation is benefiting from technology by using it as a learning tool. Information is more accessible and it helps them communicate between peers. This is true for students who are home-schooled and need to take classes online, or young children who use computer software to learn in school. There is a big difference between misusing your time on your electronic device and using it as a tool to complete your homework, or a source to finish a project.

Technology needs more credit than just being looked at as a waste of time. Yes there might be people who choose to misuse their time and instead of doing their school work they spend their time updating their Facebook status. Ultimately its up to the person whether they want to use technology as a tool or as a form of entertainment.

“I don’t hate technology when used to better the students education, I hate it when it’s used to distract students from their work.”
– Gunderson Photo Teacher

At River Glen elementary, a kindergarten teacher seems very open to the idea of children learning through the use of technology, telling me that her “students use laptops with software that helps them learn basic grammar skills.” She also explained to me how she believes that using technology is only beneficial to students as long as its being used in a productive way. “The same way students can learn on these laptops they can waste their time and learn absolutely nothing.”

At Henry T. Gunderson a high school photography teacher believes just the opposite, because her students are constantly on their phones distracted. In the interview I asked her how she felt about technology being used in the classroom and she immediately, and with no hesitation said, “I hate it!!!” Further in the conversation she stated “I don’t hate technology when used to better the students education, I hate it when its used to distract students from their work.” She also explained what bothers her the most and happens quite often in her class, “Sometimes my students are are to lazy to look up how to spell something, but they’re quick to pull out their cell phones and play a game of Fun Run.”

This proves to me the the different ways in which technology can be used and the reason why some people have a different opinions about technology. If you are surrounded by high school students every day that waste their time on their phones of course you are not going to approve of technology being used as much as a teacher that has students who only use technology for learning purposes.

At the end of the day it all depends on personal choice and weather you choose to misuse technology or not.

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