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Daniel Burns
Mr. Padgett
ENGL-1102
10 April, 2014
Technology in Modern Education
Technology and social media have brought so many innovations to education in the
recent years, so a lot of classes now a days rely heavily on technology to function. Technology
has improved every day school activities by making information more accessible, making
connecting with peers and professors basically instantaneous, providing assisted learning through
online programs, and much more. But technology is such a broad term, because technology can
refer to so many different things. Technology that a lot of classes require its students to have
access to can include physical items such as a laptop, smartphone, and response card as well as
intangible things such as an internet connection, various computer programs, and online accounts.
Technologies such as the smartphones and laptops have an endless number of ways to entertain
people, anything from games and social media, to music and videos. With so many distractions
at their fingertips, it has been increasingly harder for students to stay on task. But education
cannot simply go back to functioning without technology. The innovations and improvements
that technology has brought education outweigh the problems the distractions that came with it
cause students, however stern restrictions and a careful eye need to be kept on student use of
technology.
As technology has been rapidly advancing we have watched it evolve so many different
industries and social structures. When something can be accomplished so much easier with the
utilization of technology, why would it not evolve every industry? Education is a good example
Comment [AP1]: Okay, this sounds
interesting. So it sounds like you are
advocating for the use of technology in the
classroom, but can you be more specific with
respect to what you mean by stern
restrictions
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of an industry that has changed so much since it has incorporated technology into its regular
operations. Technology has made the availability of information to students and teachers more
efficient than ever before. Online sources vary from reliable places like online databases where
scholarly articles and journals are found, to websites like Google that can supply a fast simple
answer to a question. This availability of information to students and teachers makes research
much faster and simpler. To do research students used to have to search through bookshelves,
only able to gather information confined by the walls of the library. The internet demonstrates a
number of superior features for storing, accessing, displaying and disseminating information that
previously could not be accomplished in libraries (Thompson 260). Now when researching
online, students have access to a seemingly endless supply of information regarding their search
topic. With websites like Google and Bing, getting quick answers to short questions helps
students answer simple questions without taking too much time researching. Being able to be
instantly connected with so much information makes researching for students faster and more
efficient and improves the educational experience.
It is no secret that students today have more information available to them for research
than students did twenty years ago. The internet has a larger supply of information than any
library in the world, and every student has full time access to it. Has this availability and
abundance of information pushed students to grow lazy and information illiterate? Some would
argue that it has, in fact according to Christen Thompson there has been a disturbing decline in
both quality of writing and the originality of the thoughts expressed in student research papers.
(Thompson 261). Thompson believes that the core of this problem lies in students dependence
on the vast internet as a research tool. Now that students no longer have to spend hours in the
library reading through books, and can find more, quality information in a matter of minutes via
Comment [AP2]: Okay, I feel like Im still
reading the introduction here, looking for a
specific argument.
Comment [AP3]: This is an interesting claim.
Now youre getting to argumentative territory.
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the internet, it has led to students inability to do quality research and an increase in overall
academic laziness. Students today are constantly being accused of being lazy and spoiled by the
luxuries of technology, but if research can be done exponentially faster and more efficiently in
the comfort of their home why would anyone spend hours in the library just to find less
information on their topic.
As a college student I know first-hand that technology is inescapable. Every college level
class that I have taken has relied heavily on my laptop and or other forms of technology.
Internet use is highest in the 1624 age groups, and this suggests that university students, at a
critical time in terms of their social and emotional development, are a potential risk group for
internet dependence. (Dockterman 2). Technology doesnt only connect students to information
instantly, but it also allows students to connect with their peers or with teachers instantly.
Through online programs like email, social media sites, and education sites such as Moodle,
technology has made communication reach far beyond the classroom. This improves the
educational atmosphere because it allows students to be in constant contact with their peers and
teachers for unanswered questions and educational help. Online educational sites make classes
much more organized and they improve the communication between teachers and students.
Online communication tools that instructors incorporate into their classes improve the peer to
peer connection as well as the peer to instructor connection within the course. It improves the
overall educational experience because of barriers it eliminates in regards to constant connection
for educational purposes.
Some of the same communication programs (such as twitter, email, Facebook, and more)
that are used in classrooms are the popular social media sites that students are accused of
spending too much time on. Students that spend an unhealthy amount of time using social media
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alone can be described as internet dependent. In a study of 572 university students, it was
determined that just over 9% of students was were internet dependent and that the academic
performance of dependent students was four times lower than that of non-dependent students.
(Odaci 4). In classrooms that incorporate social media into regular classroom operations,
students for the most part have access to these tools both inside and outside the classroom.
Having constant connection to social media sites leads to distraction and procrastination from
school work. Social media doesnt just affect those that are labeled as internet dependent;
Dockterman reported Its funny. I dont really look at it all that much during the semester, but
for some reason I always go on when Im studying (Dockterman 2) from an interview with a
Harvard student when discussing social media.
Social media and technology were not originally designed to be used for educational
purposes, so they also contain many different functions, and although they do have major
benefits should they remain such an important aspect of education. Clearly technology has
revolutionized the way education functions to make it more efficient, effective, and organized.
All the benefits came with a cost, because technology also brings copious amounts of
distractions to students both in and out of the classroom including social media websites, games,
videos, and more. All of these distractions can be accessed almost anywhere via smartphone and
laptop. Do the benefits technology has brought education outweigh the distractions that came
with it, or does education need to become less reliant on technology? The improvements and
innovations technology has brought education far outweigh the negative impacts it has on
students. However something has to be done to decrease the amount of time students spend being
distracted from school work by social media and technology. In relation to technologies effect on
modern students ability to research, Christen Thompson saidwrote, Many may want to blame
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the internet for corrupting the research skills of todays college students, but it is clearly here to
stay. Therefore it is imperative we understand how students use the internet for research so we
can learn to tailor library instruction accordingly. (Thompson 260). I believe the relationship
between technology and education should be viewed the same way. The question should not be
whether education should be less reliant on technology, but how education can be mended to
function more efficiently with technology. Technology is advancing faster than educational
administrators can keep up with, which means the current classroom regulations may not be up
to date with current use of technology in the classroom. Although it might be considered an
invasion of privacy to monitor a students internet activity while at home, the classroom would
be a good place to start. Particularly in college, most classes permit the use of laptops during
class. If you sit in the back of a laptop friendly class, you are likely to see many of the screens
displaying things not relevant to the lecture (whether it be social media, games, or even work
from another class). If there were a way to better monitor student internet activity during class,
distractions would be less of an issue for students. Instructors and educational officials need to be
more aware of the ways students use the internet and technology to be distracted from education,
especially in the classroom, so rules and regulations can decrease the procrastination and
distraction epidemic.
Distracted students and procrastination reaches beyond the classroom, so regulating in-
class internet activity may not be enough. Would it be effective to limit the non-educational
internet activity of students? Students have always procrastinated. This habit may never change,
so perhaps there will always be those students. (Nowell 6). Procrastination has always been an
issue with students; it is not a new trend now that technology is a major part of education. The
data obtained from this investigation into the relations between problematic internet use and
Comment [AP4]: This is well said and
interestingly phrased
Comment [AP5]: You do a good job here
highlighting the urgency of the situation.
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academic self-efficacy and academic procrastination show a significant negative correlation
between problematic internet use and academic self-efficacy, but no significant correlation
between problematic internet use and academic procrastination. (Odaci 4). This study proves
that if students do not want to do their work, they simply are not going to do their work, and if
they are restricted from using social media to procrastinate they will procrastinate by other
means.
Growing up in the twenty-first century I have watched as the world around me has
changed as a result of technology. I saw education evolve from paper based traditional learning
to some 100% online classes. There is no definite way to tell whether technology was a gift or a
curse to education, but technology is here to stay and is only going to further advance. Although
distraction and procrastination has been shown to negatively affect students grades and
performance, the focus should not be on how to make education less reliant on technology, but
how to change the way education functions today to make distractions less prominent inside and
outside of the classroom.
Daniel,
I really like this topic and I think youve done a good job at defending the use of social
media at school. I think I would like to get a better sense of who your ideal audience is. who are
you arguing against and why? There are moments here when you praise social media and then
scrutinize it and then back to praising and then back to scrutinizinglike Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde. But then your paper really comes together in the end where you insist that technology is
not to blame for procrastination. I think what I would like to see here is a clearer thesis that each
of these paragraphs are clearly and expressly supporting. I think if you have a specific audience
to whom you are answering, this might help allow your paper a little more direction. Otherwise,
good work here. I enjoyed reading it.

Comment [AP6]: This is really interesting
and well said.
Formatted: Left
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Work Cited
Dockterman, Eliana. "Shut It Down: A Digital-Detox Plan For The Holidays." Time.Com (2013):
1. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Clemmitt, Marcia. "Social Media Becoming A Worrisome Distraction." CQ Researcher 23.4
(2013): 87. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Odaci, Hatice. "Academic Self-Efficacy And Academic Procrastination As Predictors Of
Problematic Internet Use In University Students." Computers & Education 57.1 (2011):
1109-1113. Academic Search Complete. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
Lavoie, Jennifer A., and Timothy A. Pychyl. "Cyberslacking and the Procrastination
Superhighway." Social Science Computer Review 19.4 (2001): 431-44. Sage. Web. 3 Mar.
2014.
Nowell, David D., Dr. "Students Inquire Regarding Procrastination." Psychology Today. The Art
and Science of Time Management, 9 May 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
Thompson, Christen. "Information Illiterate or Lazy: How College Students Use the Web for
Research." Portal: Libraries and the Academy. 3.2 (2010): 259-68. Print. 18 Mar. 2014