Tracing Technology's Unintended K-12 Effects
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once famously said, "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle." Though he was speaking about the road to true equality for all people, I have often applied this quote to the role of education in America, particularly public education for K-12 students. Despite the quickness with which our society has become accustomed to having everything, all at once, education reform is still a slow-turning gear in the great machine of time.
The truth is that the face of K-12 education is in a constant state of change. Educators who have been in the field for several decades may notice that the pace at which changes in methodology and student demographics occur today is much faster than in the past. Many factors play into this phenomenon, but none as strongly as technological advancements. The Internet, wireless devices, and improvements in communication all heighten the immediacy for information both within and outside the classroom.
This is both a blessing and a curse, of course. It is really too soon to tell if the first Internet-raised generations will fare better or worse in life and succeed on a global scale. The assumption is that technology equals improvement, and I would argue, overall, that is true. More access to information and a shrinking world can only benefit students. The children graduating from high school in the next decade will have a broader view of the world than ever before, thanks to traditional geographic boundaries losing their hold in the areas of communication, employment, and learning. I take no issue with the actual technology. It is great. Where I see existing and potential problems is in the indirect effects of technology on the comprehension habits...
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- Assistant Professor of Educational Administration
- Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS
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