Is technology making the next generation more productive or less?

Although the skit by Jake and Amir is meant for comedic relief, it speaks a truth that is being played out more and more among young adults. Readings is become obsolete or at least reading novels and books is. Reading is done if at all because it is required and not for leisure or a greater understanding of the world or appreciation for fine writing. There doesn’t seem to be a need to read when a summary of the book can be found online or watching the movie is easier. Amir says that the kindle isn’t a distraction from whatever he is doing on the laptop. It appears that people are beginning to think of reading as the distraction rather than technology being a distraction.

Bill Gates, the inventor of Microsoft, did an interview recently with Stephan Colbert. Bill Gates is no longer working on technology, but instead focuses more on major issues like population growth and diseases all over the world. He discussed the role of technology and human passion in successfully reducing diseases such as polio. Passion is most important according to Bill Gates, but technology helps people work in smarter way and in a more efficient manner. Technology allows for greater organization, communication, and distribution of information. Data helps us detect problems, errors, and areas that need more work.

Technology is being utilized more and more in the workplace because it has the potential to increase productivity. So it makes sense that schools have decided in order to get kids ready for the real world they need to add smart boards to every classroom and hand out ipads to every students. This is supposed to help them succeed when they graduate right? But what about the fact that student can’t even concentrate on their homework or reading anymore because of the constant stimulation due to technology? Everything is fast paced and everyone multitasking. They share, comment, and like on facebook while tweeting and watching youtube videos perhaps with the tv on in the background. With all that going, who wants to slow down to learn something that’s difficult to grasp or read a book or actually workout a calculus problem. School work is tedious and kids get bored so they distract themselves with something more interesting… like anything on the internet.

Surely, technology is going to play a huge role in most people’s lives when they go out and start working. But what if kids don’t make it college or cant get good jobs because they did poorly in school due to the same technology that is one day supposed to ensure success in their future careers? Or what if by allowing technology to infiltrate every aspect of a child’s life, they are losing other vital skills that are also just as important for finding a job? No employer is going to be impressed by a worker who spends most of the workday on facebook instead of focusing on the job they are being paid to do. It’s nice to think that people will focus on their jobs because they have a passion for what they are doing, but in reality, lots adults work to make money and survive..not because they love what they do.

While introducing kids to technology, maybe we should also be teaching self-control, patience, limiting technological stimulation, and increasing their attention span without the use of drugs like Adderall? Is that something that can be taught? If so, how? How about creating a education system that works on developing the interests, thinking critically, being creative, connecting ideas, discussing solutions to real world problems in addition to memorizing information and doing well on standardized tests? Why not engage a student’s mind, talent, and skills? Technology alone isn’t going to generate interest in a subject matter, but great educators and the right environment with the proper use of technology can create interest as well as help student acquiring, processing and utilizing information learned while in school.

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3 thoughts on “Is technology making the next generation more productive or less?

  1. Technology is making us less productive because we now have machines and computers that can do just about everything for us. Personally i think technology is detrimental to the development of the future generation. Technology has an overwhelming influence just as media does on our society. When I was an eighth grader everyone my age had a MySpace, and MySpace was what was “poppin” at the time. After the hype of MySpace died down we channeled our social energies to Facebook and Twitter. Eighth graders today are generally not on MySpace anymore, they are on Facebook and Twitter displaying their skills, talents, and accomplishments. Technology influences the productivity of a child’s experience with social media, not so much their interaction in the classroom. However, technology is beginning to be used in classrooms. iPads are often used as learning tools, but should be monitored because I bet half the class will be logged into Facebook or tweeting, rather than actually paying attention to the lesson in class.

  2. If the whole class is tweeting instead of listening, perhaps we need to continue to develop how we use technology in classrooms instead of just kicking it out. I think its too easy now to go on facebook, ignore the teacher and still come out with a passing grade. Make things harder and more interactive and students will have to ditch the media to keep up.

  3. Young kids need to be pushed at an early age to not let technology rule their lives. Technology can in fact help us grow but it can also bring us down if we use it for everything and anything. Younger kids don’t understand the advancements of technology and what it can do. When they get put on medication, most think it’s normal. If we can teach children and ourselves that technology should be used as an aid rather than our brain (regurgitating information we see on the screen) we will be better off.

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