Technology: helpful or harmful in the classroom?

Technology: helpful or harmful in the classroom?

Seniors Lauren Gamache, Courtney LeDuc, and Olivia Wojtowicz work on their school work while using personal devices.

Alexis Gamache, Editor-in-Chief

Ludlow High School has taken a turn toward technology; whether it’s for the better or worse is the question.

Since my freshman year, with a few exceptions,  students have been prohibited from using any electronics during school hours.

However, that rule has changed drastically. Students are now allowed to bring their own devices such as iPods, iPads, iPhones, smart phones, and laptops and have started using apps such as Schoology and Edmodo in the classroom.

Technology isn’t a choice, its a necessity and as students, we should be exposed to modern technology preparing us for the real world. But when I’m in the classroom, I want to connect with my teacher, not my keyboard.

When I’m in a classroom, debates, discussions and questions need to be a part of the learning atmosphere.

I know Schoology has the discussion boards for each class. However, those “discussions” are posted after the lessons have been taught. Personally, when I’m in the classroom I understand the material better when I’m having conversation about what we’ve learned with my teachers and my peers. How can do I that when the conversation is over the computer and not as meaningful?

In an recent article,  “Friend or Foe?” by James Rosenberg, he gives arguments that favor and argue against technology in the classroom.

“It’s imperative that students learn how to socialize without technology,” he said, “While technology provides greater access to information and new ways for students to learn, it can become a crutch hindering creative problem solving.”

However, technology has it advantages as well: “Technology [promotes] connections between people and information, no matter where they are in the world, giving students access to resources around the globe,” Rosenberg argues.

So the teachers at LHS should strive for balance when it comes to integrating technology.

There’s something else to think about. Aside from lack of discussions and debates in the classroom, how are we sure that every student has the proper materials to connect with everyone during and after class?

While talking to students, a girl  who will remain anonymous, brought up a very interesting point.

“Everyday we’re required to take quizzes. My teacher tells us to sign onto Schoology and makes us raise our hands to see who doesn’t have a smartphone, then he will give them [the kids who don’t have smartphones] laptops to take quizzes.”

Although the technology is provided for those students, ”You can kind of tell that it’s uncomfortable for them to have to use one the schools [devices] when everyone can use their personal devices.”

We’re faced with a dilemma and have to answer questions such as, do we want students relying on technology? And if we do, how will it be sure that every students get the appropriate materials?

As for me, technology is truly a friend and a foe when it comes to the classroom.