Teachers should be particularly careful when using technology in teaching. Nowadays students use computers frequently than in the past. The National School Boards association found out that students exposed to technology perform better in standardized tests than those students not subjected to technology. Teachers and educators ought to be aware of the potential negative impact of technology on learning. Inappropriate use of technology leads to poor effects of technology. Some disadvantages of technology on learning include increased plagiarism and cheating, lack of vocabularies while speaking, time wasting, overuse of technology, and lack of seriousness among the students (Reed, 2010).
Most students take advantage of the internet to cheat while doing the exams. Plagiarism is yet another problem, where students copy information from the web. This means that students have become lazy to do their own work. All they have to do is to go to the internet, copy the information they need, and finally paste it down. At times, it proves difficult for teachers to trace the source of such information on the web; hence, they do not discover plagiarism. Some other students use the mobile phones during exam time to browse the correct answers and get helpful material from their friends.
A study conducted by the University of Washington revealed that DVDs, meant to educate babies, have slipped infant vocabulary. The study found out that babies, who watch DVDs, do not develop their vocabulary unlike babies who did not watch the educational videos and games. To teach the new generation in classrooms; teachers make use of educational games and videos. This is to help the babies to develop their growing minds and increase their level of knowledge, as well as awareness (Petrina, 2007).
Neurological changes serve as another disadvantage of technology on learning. In today’s world where the computers can be found everywhere, reading and writing take a back seat because students find it easy to click and scroll using the computer mouse. People no longer make their own decisions as they make little sense to them. Temple University conducted a survey, in the year 2007, and the findings revealed that more than 80% of families in Philadelphia did not read or buy a book. Doctors link certain illnesses to exposure to a lot of information.
Some teachers lack experience when it comes to the use of computers. Now that every minute counts, some teachers end up wasting valuable time because of technical problems with the computers. Computers experience problems from time to time. These problems could be malfunctioning of some computer parts or even problems with the software. Teachers also face a problem because they teach students with different computer literacy skills. Some students have no or little exposure to computers, and this proves it hard to teach such a class. Time, therefore, becomes wasted because the teachers will need to cater for each child’s needs (Montague, 2004).
Another problem faced by the teachers is the mentality that the students have that computers should be used for playing games. Since most students use computers in their homes primarily for playing games, they, therefore, associate them with technology and games. Failure to address this issue properly can affect the learning process. Some students get distracted and bored fast since they will not be using the computer as they have previously used it. However, some teachers can use this as an advantage to them. They can explore it by utilizing it and making learning more enjoyable. Overuse of technology, especially computers, can interfere with the learning process. This is because a good number of students learn best when they mentally and physically interact with the subject of study. Therefore, excessive use of the internet will not care for such students’ needs.
Learning, using computers, does not allow enough time for analysis, reflection or imagination. These vital skills become ignored when teaching using computers, video games or television. These skills are getting lost with time, yet they used to be there before the introduction of technological learning. Several studies show that imagination develops through reading. Reflection, induction and critical thinking are also essential skills developed through reading different materials. Visual media deny students those skills, as well as print skills (Gev, 2002).
Overcoming negative effects of technology in education
Teachers should ensure that students do their original work and that there is no cheating or plagiarism. Strict measures, such as examination cancellation, ought to be taken on students who engage in cheating and plagiarism. Teachers should also be advised to use programs that detect plagiarism to ensure that their students do original research while doing their assignments and research (Pierson, 2003).
Students should be taught using alternative methods, especially the young children. Visual media in teaching should be avoided at all costs. Teachers should encourage students to read books and other reading materials, so that they improve on their imaginative, analysis, induction and thinking skills. Reading would help learners to improve on their writing skills. Students ought to be encouraged to read for pleasure. Teachers and parents need to instill a reading culture to the children. They should also read for the young children to set an excellent example for them. Students should also be encouraged to use the computer when necessary to avoid certain illness, associated with the use of computers in learning. Technology should be an alternative method of teaching and not the sole method of teaching.
Linguistic knowledge comes through interacting with people who use the desired language. Rather than spending time watching DVDs and videos, children can be exposed to people who speak so that they learn from them. Students, who use technology frequently, do not stick to the task. They aim at jumping to the next step even without understanding the concept. Parents should teach their students that computers are not merely used to lay games. They ought to teach them some other uses of computers, such as learning. Again, if computers are to be used in teaching, all areas, rural area inclusive should be supplied with computers and internet so that all students receive the same education (Ferranti, 2003).