To the Editor:
I am currently a freshman in college, but when I was growing up, the style of learning I was most familiar with in school was what I would call traditional learning—that involving pencil, paper, and textbooks. In my last year of high school, Google Chromebooks were made available for students to use for the first time. It didn’t take long for the students to adapt to the technology, but it was a hectic process for students and teachers alike, as teachers transferred all of their tests and assignments from print to online.
“Technology in Education: An Overview” does a great job of informing individuals about the ways of learning through technology, but I don’t think this method of learning is the best option.
It is very important, in a society filled with technology, that students learn how to use computers and programs, and how to find reliable information online. But when it comes to introducing tablets into preschools and elementary schools, I think we are going in the wrong direction.
In most cases, young kids now have enough interaction with technology outside of school. Based on my experiences helping out in these types of classrooms, I would argue that broad-based technology as a teaching method eliminates personal student-to-teacher interaction in these age groups. It also reduces interaction with other students. When kids now are told they can play, they play with technology and not other students.
Because of this, I believe that reliance on technology as the sole educational tool is detrimental to the way students learn and retain knowledge. It is important to take advantage of technology in the classroom, but if it is replacing the job teachers are getting paid to do, that isn’t right.
Having a teacher to interact with and help students, and most importantly, teach, is what students need most. The poor online test scores—as opposed to those taken with pencil and paper—and the other negative impacts of technology that are mentioned in the article speak for themselves.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
A version of this article appeared in the March 23, 2016 edition of Education Week as Overreliance on Computers Robs Classrooms of Personal Interactions