Opinons: A Paige from her book: Developing dependancy

As a child of this generation, it surprises people when I tell them my fear of technology.

Technology is like shoes. People always have a perfectly good pair of shoes, but they abandon their old shoes for a newer pair, even though the older pair was more comfortable and–in some cases–better quality shoes.

Our society is under the impression that the technological path is always the best option. The mindset gripping Americans is that newer and updated something is the better.

For example, when I was applying to colleges earlier this fall, applications became confusing.

I accidently said I was a returning college student rather than an incoming Freshman and simply needed to change the information and could not figure out how to. It was a quick, simple question that could have easily been solved by calling someone and asking the question.

But of course I could only find an email address. I spent days playing email tag when a simple phone call could have fixed all my questions.

When I had a problem with my cell phone, I was relieved when I found the AT&T had a phone number to call rather than trying to email someone.

When I called, I had to go through a series of recordings.  I hit the wrong number and had to start the whole process over. At one point, I had to give the last 4 digits of my Social Security Number just to talk to someone from AT&T! It took me about 15 minutes just to connect to a real person to ask my simple question.

This obsession with technology has also become evident in school.

I understand the district’s push for technology to be fully integrated into the learning process because technology surrounds us. I depend on technology for my readership.

That being said, there comes a point where integrating technology just for the use of being “high-tech” takes away from the learning environment.

I remember when I was in the 7th grade my teacher said when her principal evaluated her her only low mark was technology use. From then on, my teacher put our lesson plan in a PowerPoint and played on the T.V. screen.

The T.V. was so small that I couldn’t even see the lesson plan when before the objective was written in two-inch letters on the white board.

To type out her lesson plan and put it on the T.V. took time out of her day when she could have been grading or working on more important things. This activity became a waste of her time and did not in any way benefit the students, but she felt she needed to integrate some kind of “technology” into our lives.

Recently, many of my teachers have created online websites. Websites are a great tool for when students miss class and need to figure out what they missed.

The problem arises when teachers become too dependent on such tools.

On several occasions, the day before a big test or project was due my fellow classmates and I were shocked to find out the deadline was so soon. Our teacher would say something along the lines of “it was on the online calendar.”

During school, most students never even get on the computer. If teachers expect students to check a calendar, it should be printed out and handed to the students so they can access it at all times. This simple idea is often over looked because it seems low-tech and old school when simply it is the most efficient option.

I’m thankful I attend a school and live in a society were technology is available. I am just beginning to grow fearful that we are becoming too reliant on progress rather than practicality. Soon we will be forever stuck in shoes that are just not quite right, but they will be new so they must be perfect…right?