Opinion

New technology in schools promise students true 21st century education


David Delgado//The Daily Cougar

David Delgado//The Daily Cougar

Things are very different in today’s school system. Instead of going into a reading corner with their favorite Magic School Bus book, some students are being sent to the corner with their iPads. Everything is being “upgraded” as schools are making a leap from textbooks to electronic reading on iPads and other pieces of technology. With this change, people are starting to wonder if this technology that has many different capabilities is just being used for education.

A few weeks ago, at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, iPads were distributed to all students in the hope that students would be able to use it for homework, classwork and reading. Within a week of this distribution, students had found a way to hack into the system and gain access to previously blocked apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Pandora.

Computer science junior Daniel Gonzalez feels the school should have taken greater initiative to keep this from happening.

“The purpose is to make education a lot easier, but they will take advantage of it and actually do other things besides schoolwork,” Gonzalez said. “(The iPads) should be controlled and monitored by only letting students use them inside the school premises and not letting the students take them home.”

Interestingly enough, that is exactly what the school had to do.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “following news that students at a Los Angeles high school had hacked district-issued iPads and were using them for personal use, district officials have halted home use of the Apple tablets until further notice.”

The controversy of this matter is one of priority and maturity. There is no set determinant of what age students would not try to access social media and games instead of schoolwork — students are seen on social media and other outlets even in college classrooms, after all.

“I don’t know if high school or middle school students are the best for technology, because they aren’t really mature to the point where they can just strictly do their work,” said biochemistry sophomore Monique Morris.

“I don’t think they’ll be able to just do (their work) without teacher supervision or having something on the technological device that makes it impossible for them to get on something that will distract them,” she said.

When people of our generation were children in school, we were assigned coloring projects, and before long, the side of our hand would be covered in splashes of multiple colors. These messes came from the fact that we did all our work by hand. We learned that if you pressed the crayon to the paper with force, the result would be a more solid, waxy color; we learned that if glue dried on your hand, you were able to peel it off like it was a second skin. These are things that kids in today’s school system are eventually not going get the chance to learn.

Everything is moving toward a technological future, but, personally, I’d like to remain in the past a little while longer.

 Opinion columnist Kelly Schafler is a print journalism junior and may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar.com

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