Technology in the classroom: sin or virtue


A junior checks his phone during class.

Isaiah Wade

Gen Z is the generation that uses and relies on technology the most. The internet, social media and technology as a whole bring a lot of great things to the table. Though, it can be argued that every positive is a negative in disguise.

First, the plethora of information that the internet gives people with no effort. Whenever students are doing any sort of classwork, it is common for them to go to Google for aid. The need for knowing information, or actually learning something, has been replaced by a machine that does it for you. It could be the case that in this age with infinite access to information, we are less smart.

Critical thinking is an essential skill people should have. Search engines giving us the answer to any question instantly does not help develop that skill.

Secondly, the connectedness that social media provides. Presumably, social media makes people more connected. It is possible to see what people are doing, what they like and more at any time. However, this is lessening the demand for real-life social interactions.

For example, in any given classroom at NC it is common to see more people on social media than participating in real-life interactions. This is bad for a number of reasons, mainly because humans are meant to have tangible social lives, and social media is not that. Social media is in the realm of the parasocial, of the fake social interactions.

Branching off of that, cellphones are particularly distracting within the learning environment. Many students give their attention to their phones instead of what is being taught. Many students are detached from the material being presented. It goes without saying that this is not good within a classroom.

In another ironic twist, it could be that we are actually more disconnected than ever.

Generally speaking, it would be better if students used technology less, especially in the context of a learning environment for the purpose of developing better critical thinking skills and social skills.