Digital Dilemma

Technology Use In Class Must Change

I see it in class every day. Students on their phones. Sometimes I wonder if I am the last left who still feels guilty for pulling out my phone to look something up or try to check my grades. This is wrong. School policy declares that devices must be off all day, but the moment I step into class it’s the opposite. These inconsistencies are unacceptable. If administration hopes to have any authority, there should be no double standard with technology use. Either it’s in or it’s out, and I am convinced that administrators should allow technology use and work with teachers to make the transition possible. Technology has an abundance of engaging tools, the technology needed for this is already prevalent and technology has the ability to prepare students for the modern world.

The technology I am talking about is engaging apps like edmodo or duolingo. At first glance they can be viewed as recreational, but when I watch my fellow students play an app like trivia crack, for instance, I realize something amazing. The app inspires competition, similar to classroom Jeopardy with Mr. Hartman or Coach Crouch, and could be an incredible studying tool. If teachers embraced this technology I believe they could find apps that complement their classes and could be great aids.

Especially in regular classes, the usage of devices is rampant. I don’t think it can be stopped. The amount of action it would take to end device use would cause even more disruption than device use is causing in the first place. Instead students should be challenged to use their devices to achieve an educational goal. 

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High school’s primary goal is to prepare us for whatever life we will lead in the future. As I was brutally reminded of during Junior year, this life will involve technology whether we like it or not. My Dual Credit U.S. History teacher Ms. Hutchins expected us to know how to buy our e-textbook with an enclosed access code and sign up in an online classroom where we took tests and quizzes. This simple process took me four hours. Although I eventually figured it out on my own, that task is something students should be prepared for before they graduate, and I am afraid that they won’t be because the technology students currently use in classrooms most of the time doesn’t really prepare them for that paperless life..

There are two solutions to this technology problem. Either Administration defends its no-phone policy and enforces it completely, which isn’t really an answer, or they embrace technology and work with teachers and students to find engaging options. The district might be ill equipped technologically, but students have equipped themselves. Students should not be wasting time listening to the latest music or playing games during lectures on their phones. They should be learning. True educational technology use, used responsibly, could level the playing field between us and districts with more money to buy more technology to use in the classroom.

I beg teachers and administrators to review my points and students to push for the change they would prefer.