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Collin Beavan

MSE Argumentative
Eng. 111
Technology in Education
Have you begun to notice that your child, or even some co-workers, are having difficulties
talking to one another? The cause of this lack of social, face-to-face interaction in todays world
is a lack of personal interaction between children at a young age. Face-to-face interaction is
defined by Ervin Goffman as interaction without any mediating technology. If children are
never taught face-to-face interaction with peers, then they will use technology media interaction.
This leads to an excess use of technology in everyday life. According to a study conducted by
researchers at the University of California, students that do not use their phones as often, score
higher on tests, are able to read emotions better, and live healthier lives compared to those who
are on a screen for more than two hours a day. Michael Zwaagstra and Jim Taylor both believe
that technology in schools has a negative impact, but for different reasons and with different
explanations. Technology allows education to become easier for your children, but is eliminating
the need for face-to-face interaction.
The educational technologies include online schooling and technological equipment in
the classroom. High school students can opt to stay at home and take all online classes, with
almost no human interaction. Think about your teen child; will they seriously sit there online and
work on homework for hours? Or will they get distracted? What student is going to learn a
structured learning habit if they have no one to show them how to focus?

The classroom technological equipment can include iPad classes or laptop learning. This
is a class where students go check what they are supposed to do online, then they perform the
tasks all online. They could go to class and never talk to a single person. This type of learning at
a young age takes away the peer to peer and student teacher relationships.
Technologies that are making education easier for teachers are negatively effecting the
social interaction of children in todays age. Did you know that many employees of Apple, Ebay,
and other large technological companies send their children to schools that has restrictions on the
use of technology in academics!? If the creators of these technologies opt to restrict their childs
use of technology in school, why are you allowing your child to spend the day looking at a
screen? According to Michael Zwaagstra, a researcher at Winnipegs Frontier Centre of Public
Policy and the co-author of Whats Wrong With Our Schools and How We Can Fix Them. If
youre bringing technology into the classroom, there needs to be a real purpose behind it. I
question if that purpose is really there.
Zwaagstra goes on to say, All too often the school system rushes headlong into the latest
educational fads, whether supported by evidence or not. While technology in moderation is
positive, the evidence does not support the notion that it will revolutionize education. Parents
need to be proactive about raising concern.
This raises the point that many companies just give the new technology over and expect
the teachers to create lessons with it properly. Teachers are given this great technology, but they
have no idea how to create a lesson plan that allows face-to-face interaction, as well as computer
learning. Students do not learn to relate to people by sitting on an iPad. I believe schools are
unprepared to teach with this technology and are, in turn. harming your childrens social

Furthermore, technology leaves very little room for imagination and hinders your childs
ability to focus on a specific task. Jim Taylor thinks more traditionally and believes that using the
internet to teach is counterproductive. Taylor focuses on how distracting technology and the
attention aspect of learning. With the internet you are always being distracted and pulled away
from the task at hand. It is nearly impossible to learn something if you cannot even give it your
full attention.
Furthermore, Taylor sees attention as the gateway to grasping knowledge; he believes that
in order for one to use other aspects of thinking such as, memory, creativity, and problem
solving, one must first come to attention. As I stated above, technology interferes with teaching
students how to focus effectively on the task at hand and for people to focus on the task at hand
is how we gain new ideas, how we do work, and without attention to detail we will never evolve
to new levels of knowledge. No one can go onto the internet without getting numerous pop-ups
or ads that ask them to join a new website. Or how about when the computer freezes and the
lesson plan is gone for the day? None of these hindrances are a problem if you are reading from a
simple text book.
You can relate the difference between reading and using the internet to Nicholas Carrs
metaphor of scuba diving and jet skiing. When you are reading, you are in a secluded
environment, focused on things around you and taking in things slowly and with detail, just like
scuba diving. When you are jet skiing, however, things move by quickly and it is near impossible
to focus on one thing. With jet skiing there is no attention to the small details, no room to
imagine what could be behind the next turn. The same is true with learning, you need to focus
and use your imagination in order to grasp concepts.

Both Taylor and Zwaagstra agree that technology has a definite possibility of being
harmful to students, they also agree, if used properly, technology can be helpful to certain
students. By teaching students to find things on the internet it makes them different. It allows
students to use their minds for other tasks and not remember knowledge that can be found in half
a second on Google.
The fact that students can use their brain space for other things than memory is quite
amazing, but not at the cost of face-to-face interaction. Zwaagstra believes that technology for
schools is unnecessary. Schools do not need new technology to teach kids better, they need to
engage the students, get them to interact, and learn from mistakes in reality. Taylor focuses more
on what real schooling teaches your child that technology fails to do. Students have difficulty
enough focusing on writing a paper, on the internet with endless distractions and then its even
more difficult. Thats a bad combination, especially for a student that knows he or she has all
those options. Technology is not necessary, it takes away the interactions between students and
teacher, between student and student. Kids can hardly talk to each other for five minutes without
getting on their phone! School is not just about learning math, but about learning life.

Works Cited
Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1990. Print.
Koch, Janice. TEACH. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2011. Print. Page 111
Taylor, Jim, Ph.D. "How Technology Is Changing the Way Children Think and Focus." Psychology
Today. Psychology Today, 04 Dec. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.
Zwaagstra, Michael C., Rodney A. Clifton, and John Clifford. Long. What's Wrong with Our Schools:
And How We Can Fix Them. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2010. Print.