Modern students are digital natives. They have grown up with technology. Technology is woven into their lives. However, technology in education has reached far beyond the use of digital devices – it facilitates teacher-student interaction, which increases the effectiveness, and therefore the quality, of the learning process. The younger generation’s desire to learn and work is at an all-time low, and educators are competing with countless entertainment devices like phones, tablets, and laptops for students’ attention. Technology can be seen as the culprit of many educational problems, or it can be used to improve interaction and efficiency.
Digital education is creating new opportunities for learning like the broader spectrum of personalized learning, new ways of collaboration, and a wider range of engaging learning strategies for students. Besides the obvious advantages of modern technology in education, there are also pitfalls that educators face when implementing it.
1. Technology distracts from learning.
Studies have shown that gadgets do distract students from the learning process. But it’s the teacher’s job to make the learning process captivating, and if students are distracted, it’s up to the teacher to control the situation, not technology and devices. Today the relevant task is to create a culture of respect for all participants of the educational process. Students should respect the teacher and school’s rules, and schools should restrict specifically the misuse of technology, but not the phenomenon in general. While limiting the use of gadgets, still define specific tasks, projects, time, and competently apply the possibilities of technology in the classroom for students’ benefit.
2. Technology can have a negative impact on students’ communication skills and social interaction.
Many educators dislike gadgets because it reduces students’ ability to engage in real, live communication. Kids and high school students, who were studying offline before, will experience problems in communication when the learning is fully digitalized. It is quite hard to build meaningful connections at school and university, and now, when students have to write PhD thesis online as well as everything else, it is not getting easier. Communication through modern technology will hardly encourage building more connections naturally, leading to a more secluded society. However, by creating tasks that incorporate technology, verbal presentations, and group collaboration, students will actively interact with one another.
Technology is a tool that can greatly enhance the learning process, but it is not an end in itself. The modern teacher must be able to use it intelligently, keep it under control, and know the benefits.
3. The quality of Internet sources leaves much to be desired.
The quality of Internet sources leaves much to be desired. The misinformation is spreading lightning-fast and sorting out facts, scientifically proven knowledge is extremely difficult. The challenge of the new age is an abundance of choices and making the right decision on what to trust. So, the Internet is a boon and a curse. Your students will benefit from knowing how to distinguish good information sources from unreliable ones. Educational institutions can create a list of electronic educational resources, information from which students can trust, use, copy and adapt. Teachers can use educational resources that are freely available. They contain educational and reference material. Students can also use these resources. Electronic tests, interactive models, colorful illustrations, ready-to-use materials, simulators, and other educational materials contained in the resource sections will help teachers to prepare and conduct interesting, informative, and vivid lessons and students to perform homework, research projects, or other types of independent work.
4. Copy of a copy
As we know, everything had already been done before we did. But the process of learning consists of solving problems that are new to humans. Naturally, no one starts learning mathematics by solving a Goldbach conjecture. First, you have to solve problems that have already been solved a million times by other people. Often these solutions can be found online. This discourages students from doing things themselves, and thus blocks the learning process. The possibility to find a ready-made answer is relaxing and turns the creative process of finding a solution into endless web surfing. It is a task of a teacher to build the tasks in a way that it is impossible to simply copy an answer, but that involves some critical thinking, personal perspective, and profound understanding of the subject.
5. Lack of focus
Phones, notifications, social media, data noise – students think they are doing several things at once, but in fact, they are not really doing any of them. To do a task well, we have to concentrate on it. Otherwise, we will be constantly distracted, waste a lot of time, and make a lot of mistakes. Distracting on smartphones and notifications during the learning process slows it down and makes it hard to remember information the next day. Studies say that responding to a message can take a person up to 20 minutes of time. Does that seem unbelievable? Do the math for yourself. Our attention span is inert; we don’t reach a high level of concentration instantly. If we were reading some important information and suddenly get a message, we are distracted. Then we think about what to answer, switching our attention to a completely different task. Having answered, we involuntarily think about the person’s reaction to our answer and subconsciously expect a new message. When we finally return to the original task, we need some time to reach our previous level of concentration. If you’re mastering new material, it’s best to turn off your cell phones and stay off social media until you’ve done the intended amount of work. At school, it is better to control the phone use while introducing new material. The automation of education and further introduction of technology are coming to schools, home education, and higher education. It is the way we use it that defines whether it harms or helps us in teaching and learning.