Technology by itself is easy to use, portable and widely available. There literally seems to be no downside to it because it is so pervasive in today’s world.
It is used even in schools today because technology is synonymous with intelligence. However, technology and education do not always meld as seamlessly as we expect them too. Here are 10 downsides to the use of technology in education, downsides that we don’t even realize sometimes, blinded as we are by the sleekness of technology.
1. All technology is not affordable – When schools need to use technology, they have to buy it in bulk, not in singles. And sometimes, while technology is useful, it is not always affordable. Some schools are able to buy technological products without feeling the pinch in their budgets. For other schools, as useful as technological products are, they cannot afford them for they are simply too expensive.
2.Needs constant maintenance – Once technology has been brought, it will need constant maintenance and upgrades to keep running. You cannot buy a computer and simply leave it be. It will need repairs; it will need upgrades and quite possibly someone to take care of it, especially if there is more than computer. More than a help, it becomes a burden.
3.Technological proficiency is necessary – Especially if technology is to be used in the classroom. There is no point in having a projector or a computer in the classroom if the teacher teaching the class has no idea how to work the two machines. So in addition to the expense of buying new technology, schools will have to train their teachers, and not all of them maybe that enthusiastic about learning and not all of them might be able to get the hang of it.
4. Technology needs stable internet – Some technology such as phones, televisions etc can function without the internet to a certain extent . However computers definitely do the need the internet to function to their fullest extent. And a stable, fast internet connection is not available everywhere. Even if a school managed to cobble together the funds that are needed to buy a few computers, those computers would not be used to their full potential because of the lack of a good, stable internet connection.
5. The problem with filters & firewalls – Assuming a school is able to get a good internet connection and is able to buy a decent number of computers for its students to use; the use of technology will still be limited because of the firewalls and filters which are put in place. The reasoning being putting in firewalls and web filters is sound because one, there needs to be some form of internet security in place and secondly, children should not be able to access age-inappropriate content and nor do they need to be exposed to it way before they can comprehend it. However, assuming a teacher is using the computer to teach and would like to access YouTube, she would not be able to do so because the web filter might prevent her from doing so. When this happens often, instead of being helpful, technology becomes an impediment.
6. Not all students might be familiar with technology – Sometimes the biggest obstacle that technology has is that, not everyone knows how to use it. While most people are familiar with basic technology, most people are not familiar with the more complicated forms of technology. Computers, tablets etc may not be that familiar to some children whose families do not have the resources to buy and use these products.
7. The use of technology involves moderation – If a teacher is going to make use of technology, then he or she will definitely have to moderate the use of technology in the classroom and even after school hours when the students are using it. The moderation of technology is time-consuming and not always a viable option.
8. Students might not enjoy using technology to learn – For students, technology is synonymous with friends and activities outside of the ambit of school. When technology is used for learning, the students might find it hard to combine the social and learning aspect of technology in their minds. And as a result, they might be reluctant to embrace its use in a school atmosphere.
9. Content Flagging – What a teacher might think her students need to know will vastly differ from what the school management thinks the students need to know. Until both of them come to compromise as to what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate content, the technology that is available at school becomes pretty much redundant.
10. Technology can be distracting too – Technology has many uses which can benefit students immensely but it also has the capacity to distract a student and divert their attention from the lesson being thought. We all know how easy it is to simply jump from one topic to another when on the web. The same thing can occur to students too and in the end, this downside of technology ends up spoiling the learning process because it distracts more than it helps.
Do you have any issues with the use of technology in education? If so, share your opinions with us in the comments section below!