I was having lunch today and munching away on my sumptuous Mac&Cheese (which, by the way was dripping with oozing cheese and threatening to cause me a premature death by obesity or coronary heart disease). Excuse the sarcasm, I still haven’t forgiven my biology textbook for its ominous premonition that fatty foods=fatty people=death.
Anyways, I was scrolling away on the iPad like I usually do when I have lunch alone. I usually have to sift through mundane articles on the news about Romney’s feud with Big Bird or petty sex scandals that the world somehow actually cares about, but today I came across a plethora of articles that were of interest.
Take a look at this article.
I agree entirely. Technology certainly does shorten our attention span. In those days back in Shanghai, my friends and I could entertain ourselves for hours at hand without an iPad or iPod, or I-anything for that matter.
My sisters friends come over with their numerous gadgets, pink bunny-eared iPhones and purple iPod nanos spilling everywhere. It’s pretty funny, actually. But my sister could not live without her gadgets (well, our parents’, but I say hers because she is the predominant user). When I try to teach her about her maths problems, she has to go to her iPad every twenty minutes to ‘smurf’ or to ‘take a break’. She doesn’t when I tell her not to, she’s pretty obedient in that aspect- but she simply doesn’t have the patience to concentrate on any maths problem she can’t solve in less than five minutes! Quite unlike the two hours I took to solve one PROMYS maths problem, but perhaps that’s just indicative of my passion for maths.
I don’t blame my sister. And no, she doesn’t have ADHD. She can concentrate just fine when she has an iPad on hand.
It affects me too, my studying. I study so much more effectively while blogging or tapping away through some technological medium (hence my IGCSE Revision blog.) I can’t sit down and memorize things without going to check my WordPress or my Facebook or my Gmail every two or three hours. I can’t be bothered to check a dictionary when I encounter a word I don’t understand- the iPad is so much easier, it offers an instantaneous answer. I’m obsessed with keeping up a fast pace in life, I have to constantly be doing something, sitting down and doing nothing is a form of bliss that comes weighted with far more guilt.
Technology is a brilliant tool for education, though. Look at my IGCSE website- the prezi on songs of ourselves certainly did manage to grasp people’s attention, far more than printed notes would have. And our access to information and the trove of knowledge online-I won’t go into that for fear of repeating myself.
Technology has revolutionalized the way we live, work, and play. It’s an age-old argument: is technology good or bad?
I think it’s not the technology per se, but the way humans react to it that determines its impact.
Students can’t concentrate? Get them to create a website. Students always hampering to play World of Warcraft? Get them to create their own video game.
The world is constantly changing. The world doesn’t change for us, we change for the world. Don’t let traditional ideas of what teaching should be hamper what it can be.