In answers and/or information they were looking for, but

In the year 1981, the first computer was introduced in classrooms. It was simply a television screen as the monitor, but it quickly became more advanced. Within the year, companies were producing computer programs for students to better their education by using their computers. Ever since then, the idea of modernizing the way our students learn has been one of our main focuses. Technology has so greatly affected the lives of children today that kids can not see life without it. According to, more than one third of children under the age of two use mobile media daily. More specifically, 38% of toddlers under two have used a smartphone or a tablet. Whether parents are letting their children use these devices as a distraction or a learning tool, it is tremendously affecting the development of their brains. Also, students as young as second graders are turning to google, wikipedia, bing etc for information. Of course, the children will get the answers and/or information they were looking for, but they won’t actually remember what they saw as well as they would if they would have been reading a book, or asking for the answers to their questions. Also, the answers on popular search engines are often unreliable and uncredible. Pamela DeLoatch stated, in her article titled The Four Negative Sides of Technology, “Children who use too much technology may not have enough opportunities to use their imagination or to read and think deeply about the material.” Thus, if children simply google their questions, they will get the answer, but will they actually think about what the answer/information means?  Though my generation has been positively affected by technology, there are many negatives. According to, the combined amount of money on educational technology each year throughout the United States is approximately $56 billion. That article also stated, “36% of the $56 billion is spent on students in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade. That is approximately $400 per student per year.”  If our country continues to spend more money on adding technology into this generation’s education, we will be moving away from traditional ways of learning like note taking, art classes, and vocational school. There are not many people that genuinely enjoy the cramp in your hand or the graphite stain on the side of your hand caused by hours upon hours of taking notes throughout the school day. So, as one can imagine, when students started hearing about taking notes via computers, a majority of students jumped on the technology bandwagon. More is better. People are constantly wanting more. From more storage on your iphone to more advanced ways of taking notes. That’s why students are starting to turn to laptops for taking notes. Students can take their notes quicker on a computer, so they try to get down every word their teacher/professor says. But, this is not necessarily a more effective way of note taking. They are not focusing on what it all means; they are just trying to get everything down. Students are beginning to think taking notes on paper is old fashioned, but it is scientifically proven that taking notes on paper is the better way to take notes. First, while taking notes on a computer, you are more likely to get distracted. Instagram, twitter, facebook, etc are just a click away. With paper, you can not really get distracted. Taking notes on computer is more and more common. Laptops are distracting, but even when one is using them just to take notes the students are still less likely to remember the notes they took down. Mueller and Oppenheimer research showed that laptops are still negatively affecting learning. They did three studies and by the end Mueller and Oppenheimer had more information proving their point that laptops are a less effective way to take notes. Their study had the students looking at a variety of things: algorithms, faith, economics, bread, and bats. Directly after taking their notes, the students were not just tested on their basic memory but their memory of factual detail, conceptual understanding of material, and their ability to synthesize and generalize information. The results of the study by Mueller and Oppenheimer proved that taking downs on paper is better and the students are more likely to remember the lecture or whatever they were taking notes on. An experiment by SOAR learning said:Students who write their notes by hand were aware that they didn’t catch every word. It forced them to focus on listening and digesting. Then, summarize in their own written words. The process made the brain work harder and fosters comprehension and retention of the material. (Mueller and Oppenheimer)  Though the students that took notes on computers had significantly more notes, they retained much less information. There are solutions to this problem, though. Instead of teaching America’s students how to take notes on their personal laptops provided by their schools, our schools should be teaching their students more effective and efficient ways to take their notes on paper. One solution is obviously to stick to taking notes with a pen or pencil. Another solution is for the people that are typing their notes so they can make sure they get all of the lecture down. The solution would be to type then write. This will take more time, but if you are a slow writer, this might be the route for you. So, instead of teaching America’s students how to take notes on their personal laptops provided by their schools, our schools should be teaching their students more effective and efficient ways to take their notes on paper. Continuing on the negative ways technology is affecting our education, art education has been so negatively affected in recent years because of new developments. Specifically in elementary schools, school districts are cutting their art programs and using the money for more technology like computers, copiers, smart tables, and smart boards. An article on titled Where School Dollars Go To Waste, author Kurt Vonnegut stated: America spends tons of money on education even though the final product isn’t very impressive. If children are indeed the future, then they’re certainly an expensive one: Of the $3.2 trillion in total expenditures for local and state governments in 2012, education accounted for nearly 28 percent, or $869.2 billion, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. That figure topped government spending in any other sector, almost doubling the second-largest recipient of taxpayer dollars—public welfare. Schools spend almost one third of the amount of money given to the state government is spent on education. Because of social media and the rise of technology, artists are starting to lose some of their creativity. Also, there is so much competition to be better than the art that artists see online. Because of the ability to share your art with just one click for the entire world to see, the pressure is on. One artist after another is continuously trying to one up the other pieces of art online. The Impact of Digital Technology on Art and Artists by Mohammed Zaher stated, “Creativity dies out and the building blocks of imagination freeze at the bottom of the artist’s psyche, as they gradually transform into a shallow abstract translation of a constellation of enormous technological capabilities” He also went into detail about the fact that children are affected by social media and seeing art online. Children are given a chance to express themselves through drawing, painting, sculpting, ect. As schools are spending more money on technology to “better the education of their students” An article written by Tracy Brown Hamilton has many facts to prove this point. She stated, “drawing helps prepare children for success in other subject areas, including explaining and communication mathematical reasoning, which assists in their comprehension and communication of math concepts, according to an analysis by the California State University, Chico, professors Susan Steffani and Paula M. Selvester.” This study also showed that when kids scribble at the age as young as two, this can be the beginning of them writing and making shapes. According to, vocational schools “provide practical training with few unrelated academic course requirements.” Vocational schools, or trade schools, give students opportunities to get a head start on a career they want to take part in before leaving high schools. Because of the increase of the use of technology in schools, students have opted to take online classes because it’s an easier way to take the classes. Often these online classes teach students what they would be learning at vocational school but without the real world experience. But, imagine learning how to be a plumber, welder, electrician or hundreds of other fields of study and not even physically learning how to do it. Online schools and online classes are becoming more and more present in schools throughout America. For example, “Apex Learning, Inc. is a privately held provider of e-Learning solutions for K-12 education, offering online courses in mathematics, science, English studies, social studies, Romance languages, the fine arts, health and physical education, and Advanced Placement.” (Wikipedia) An article by Valerie Strauss titled Why We Need Vocational Education stated this: I was reminded of this experience recently when Tony Wagner, the author of The Global Achievement Gap and, most recently, Creating Innovators, spoke with educators and parents in my community and noted that in Finland’s highly successful educational system, 45% of the students choose a technical track, not an academic track, after completing their basic education.That show that high school students want vocational education and vocational school, and they will be more successful in a shorter amount of time if they had the opportunity to take vocational schools. And not everyone goes to college. An article in Forbes Magazine titled Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools by Nicholas Whyman talked about the fact that students want the opportunity to go to vocational school or trade school. The latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that about 68% of high school students attend college. That means over 30% graduate with neither academic nor job skills.” So, why are we taking away vocational schools? Wouldn’t it better the future of our country and my generation if we prepped students for the workforce rather than have them sitting in a class that will of no use to them? However, technology in education has helped this generation in a countless amount of ways. An article titled Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students stated, “When students are using technology as a tool or a support for communicating with others, they are in an active role rather than the passive role of recipient of information transmitted by a teacher, textbook, or broadcast.” It continued to talk about how the teacher’s role changed as well. Instead of always being the center of attention, they now have more free time and are more readily available as a resource for their students. Students also have increased motivation because of the new advancements of technology in classrooms. Students are constantly surprised by the things they can do on the internet or with computers or with new technology. Thus, this increases their self-esteem and motivation to do their school work. An anonymous elementary teacher talking about how technology has affected her students said this: The kids that don’t necessarily star can become the stars.  My favorite is this boy . . . who had major problems at home. He figured out a way to make music by getting the computer to play certain letters by certain powers and it changed the musical tone of the note and he actually wrote a piece. He stayed in every recess. . . . When I asked him what he was working on, he wouldn’t tell me. Then he asked if he could put his HyperCard stack on my computer because it was hooked up to speakers. I said “sure” and at recess. . . he put it on my computer and played his music and literally stopped the room. And for months he had kids begging him at recess, every recess, to teach them how to make music. Because of technology, a struggling students was able to do something that made him happy to take his mind off of his homelife. Also, students are learning technical skills at early ages. Students are learning how to use tools such as Microsoft Word, Google Slides, Britannica Encyclopedia and Dropbox at young ages. This will not only help the kids better their education throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school, but they will be going into their work force/ college knowing how to use advanced technology. Also, tablets and laptops are replacing textbooks, workbooks, and notebooks. An article by titled Backpack Safety  stated, “Doctors and physical therapists recommend that kids carry no more than 10% to 15% of their body weight in their packs. But many carry a lot more than that.” Moreover, the average twelve year old girl weighs 92 pounds. Thus, they should only be carrying eight to ten pounds on their back. The average weight of a sixth graders backpack is 18.4 pounds. Because of the new technology students can use with their laptops, they are less likely to have backaches and chronic back problems. In conclusion, although there are many positive effects of introducing technology into education, the negatives outweigh the positives. Because of the expensive devices companies are selling to schools, our country has spent an incredibly large amount of money on things we didn’t use before. Of course new technology is great and helping students learn, but our country was fine without these new devices. According to, the three most successful people- Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, and JP Morgan- were all deceased before 1920. Again, the first computer to be introduced in schools was invented in 1981. Therefore, they succeed tremendously without any advanced technology at all. Again, our country is spending too much time and money on introducing advanced technology and not enough time thinking about the possible negative outcomes. This generation needs to start thinking about the traditional ways of educating. Students can not afford to lose the original way of note taking, their art education, or their opportunities to go to vocational schools. Finally, what would life be without art class, vocational school, and notebooks? Our country is trying to change too quickly. For now, people see a good outcome from technology in classrooms. But, is it really good for students?