Technological Takeover

For most people, technology has been a beneficial tool that makes everyday life easier. While technology has been able to help multiple people, becoming too reliant on technology has slowly become an issue.

Communication is one of the things that has been greatly improved by technology. Social media has made it easier for people to connect with others, but it also causes a disconnect between people in real life. Freshman Michelle Averill sees both the pros and cons of communication changing with technology.

“It’s connected people and their cultures, and it’s opened people’s eyes to new things. It can make you feel safer too. If I ever felt unsafe I can just do like two things on my phone and call my parents. In real life people are more scared to say stuff, and they don’t socialize as much because we don’t learn those skills,” said Averill.

Being able to easily entertain oneself has also made many people more dependent on technology. Apps such as TikTok and YouTube being constantly accessible, means people can easily spend hours on their devices. Debra Alsip, an AP Human Geography teacher, often has students occupied on their phones during class.

“Kids in the classroom have no initiative anymore and listening skills are zero. Students want a one or two minute video and then they’re onto the next thing. Unless students are intrinsically motivated, if they have a choice between ‘I need to get my work done’ and looking at videos on their phones, nine out of ten kids are going to look at the videos on their phones,” said Alsip.

Time management has been both positively and negatively impacted by technology. Devices offer tools that can benefit time management such as alarms, calendars, and planners, but also have a downside of being a source of distraction. Freshman Jude Pham notices himself relying on his device for time management.

“I have alarms set for myself. I set timers just to focus on work and studying a certain amount of time. Sometimes, not having my phone actually makes me do stuff even more, but I do have reminders on my phone. Just having it there, it reminds me what I need to do and I can just be more productive,” said Pham.

The way students do school work has been adjusted as technology has become a more prominently used tool. Assignments have changed from being on paper to being completed online. Biology teacher Kimberly Wallace has seen changes in how teachers and students have to complete their work.

“Canva actually has a new AI component, so one day I was running short on time, and I was able to type in a couple of key terms in their AI system and it created a PowerPoint for me. From a student aspect, I think there is less responsibility in them thinking they have to study for information. There’s less basic knowledge that students have because of the ability to just quickly type it in and figure it out,” said Wallace.

Learning new things has become easier as most people have constant access to search engines such as Google. Easy internet access makes it possible to look up and learn about anything a person has interest in. Amaya Smith, a freshman, has been able to understand new things from the internet.

“The internet makes it a lot easier to learn stuff, especially since some teachers don’t actually teach the material and you have to learn it on your own. I think it gives you better access to actually learn materials. It goes into depth about topics you want to learn more about, and helps you solve problems. I can go online and find real facts from places like the CDC or National Geographic,” said Smith.

COVID had a large impact on the use of technology because of kids having to use it to learn at home. When coming back in person, learning was changed as teachers and students had to adjust while technology became more prominent. Spanish teacher Erica Williams had to change her teaching methods to accommodate online learning.

“I had to learn how to use Canvas because that was not something that was used in a language class. It wasn’t bad because I learned other forms of education and other strategies. The drawback is that I feel like those things that were a little more personal and hands on have kind of been made obsolete. It’s changed a lot and made me a little more dependent on technology,” said Williams.

Technology has both positives and negatives to it and has had a big impact on how most people function. While it offers new tools that can make life easier, it can also become a problem as people may find themselves becoming dependent on it.