Technology doesn’t always help

Incorporating technology into the classroom can just lead to more distractions for students.

Destanie Martin-Johnson

President Barack Obama said during this year’s State of the Union address that he wants to keep the Internet free and make it available for everyone.

Duke University conducted a study in the early 2000s that followed middle-school students’ academic progress after they received computers with Internet access.

The results showed that the reading and math scores of students with at-home computer access decreased over a span of five years.

Another report, released by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2007, linked low reading test scores to the fact that young Americans are spending less time reading recreationally.

It’s not hard to guess why this has been happening.

There’s so much to do on the Internet through smartphones and laptops. Can you really expect children to use these devices to read? It seems more likely that they’ll want to play games or watch popular YouTube clips.

Technology and the Internet can be helpful tools to use when teaching or learning, but we need to use them in the right ways. No one can control how students use their gadgets at home. However, teachers can control how they use them in the classroom.

Test scores can actually improve over time when technology is used as a way to enhance visual learning, communication and analysis, studies say.

In my experience, videos help keep me engaged and interested in what I’m learning. As long as it’s used for studies — and not for playing Temple Run or Angry Birds — technology can help further the education of younger generations.