Technology's Negative Affect on Our Youth Thesis

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Technology's Negative Affect On Our Youth

With the advent and increased advancements in the technological sphere, it is only normal that the faculty of education and the staff get to employ more technology or computer-based instruments in their medium as well. The use of new and improved technology has obviously seen the consequential increase in the financial expenses like for instance the yearly financial allotment increased from a mere $21 million to a whopping $729 million in a space of six years from 1995 to 2001. The overall national student to computer proportion also faced an effect of this as it dropped from a 9:1 to a 4:1 proportion (Glennan & Melmed, 1996; Market Data Retrieval, 1999, 2001).

It was in a report of the U.S. Census Bureau's (2002) updated population stats that exhibited that computers, more than any other technological sub-group, were used by the American children aged between 9 and 17. The report showed that this was true in 92.6% of the cases. Also, another report conducted in the year 1998 showed that more then 80% of the teachers and lecturers utilized the facilities of a computer either at home or in school (Ravitz, Wong, & Becker, 1999).

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It is not a hidden fact that the use and access of technology and computers has increased globally amongst both the school-going children and the teachers, nevertheless, there are many analysts who still question whether its use is having more negative effect then positive on overall teaching manual, especially on the overall literacy and literature activities of students like reading. One of many of these critics were Stoll (1999) and Healy (1998) who, in their studies, argued that the huge financial investments on technology for the educational sector was useless as there was very little proof to show that the employment of technology was having a constructive outcome on the educational standards, in fact it was driving students away from a constructive habit of reading good literature. They further went on to say that the use or employment of computer generated technology was in fact hampering the students in their overall learning and social skill development as well.

Thesis on Technology's Negative Affect on Our Youth Assignment

Another example of the criticism that the use of technology in education has received was in Cuban's (2001) report. Here he said that the generalized belief that computers accelerated the efficiency or level of work for the teachers was wrong as they did no such thing and in fact were being oversold and over-hyped with very little practical evidence to follow the hype. His criticism was mainly based on the fact that even though the computers were being regularly used by teachers at home, they were being very minimally utilized as a medium of instruction in schools. This was a major reason why students were also being discouraged from reading as they only used the technology for entertainment purposes. The teachers and schools did not guide them on how to use this technology for literacy and educational purposes.

Cuban feels that this is because of two reasons: firstly, the school and education structures and standards have not been adjusted to adapt to the incorporation of technology and computers as mediums of instruction for literature especially, and secondly, he feels that the teachers are unaware of how to employ the technology as a medium of literacy instruction in a school environment and have just used it for special references or as an additional activity. A research conducted by the U.S. Department of Education (2000) confirmed that the second of the above reasons was true and that it was only a minimal one-third percentage of teachers who felt that they were prepared enough to incorporate technology as a medium of literacy instruction.

The appropriate use of technology and computers in the sphere of literacy education is identified as an important facet for all future organizations, if they want knowledgeable, innovative and out of the box thinkers, and hence most researchers have focused on four different yet interrelated elements that can help formulate this process. These four elements are mentioned below:

(a) How is technology currently used in today's classrooms to improve literacy education?

(b) How do teachers choose technologies to use in their classrooms to improve literacy education?

(c) How do teachers currently determine the effectiveness of the specific technologies for the improvement of literacy education?

(d) How could teachers better integrate technology into literacy instructions?

One of the main concerns in this technology-driven world is that most of the teachers do not use technology available to enhance the literacy educational domain of the students; in fact, they do not know how to use technology for that purpose. Cuban, as mentioned before, in his study also explained that mainly the use of computers within the literacy classroom setting still reflected the conventional mediums and standards of education which basically means that the students use the computer to enhance their skills of office tools, use the dictionaries available on the computer or mainly familiarize themselves with the general functions of the technology (Anderson & Ronnkvist, 1999; Cuban, 1998). Most of the conclusions that were made by Cuban in his study were backed up by another study conducted in the same year, 1998, on the American classroom lecturers and instructors and their ineffective use of technology as medium for improving the literacy education standards and activities of students.

Jonassen (2004) asserts that this particular way of utilizing the computer, even though, does allow students to expand their computational abilities but are more or less useless when considering how much they actually help in the development of their literacy learning curves. Another important fact is that the social and financial standing of the school also determines the way in which Internet is mostly used by the students. For example, the students studying in a poor school district are more likely to use the Internet for more constructive and sophisticated educational purposes like constructing slides for presentations, or using the internet to access books that they might not find in their institution's library etc. Whereas, in contrast, the students that are studying in well-off school districts are more likely to use technology for the mastering skills they have just been taught and discovering to study without-help (Becker, 2000; Becker & Sterling, 1987).

Statement of the Problem

Technology is having a negative impact on our youth as it is decreasing the overall use of literacy and literature among the students. Teachers, unequipped, are not integrating technology into literature or literacy lessons, and therefore not harnessing technology's full potential as an instructional tool.

Significance of the study

The focus of the researchers on the consequences of the use of technology in student literacy learning activities has been a direct aftermath of the increase in the use of technology. However, research still has not been able to clearly underline how the educational and academic achievements of the students in the department of literacy and literature can enhance and/or develop with the advent and use of technology. The significance of this study will be that it will focus on what effects of technology on the literacy education of the student have already been seen and what could be the potential consequences of technology as well.

An examination of the use of technology in literacy education is quite significant. More specifically, many problems appear in the application of technology in literacy educational activities especially within classrooms while the response of governments worldwide is too slow and limited. On the other hand, it seems that the participants in the educational arena especially teachers do not have the required competency and willingness to use technology for the improvement of students' performance. Perhaps teachers are under the assumption that the intervention of technology within the classroom will do little to improve student participation in literacy educational activities, which as the research points out, is a wrong assumption to make. For these reasons, this study is important to teachers and students.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of technology within the modern literacy educational environment and explore how teachers integrate technology in the curriculum to turn the negative impact of technology into one that can be beneficial in the long run. This study will also explore how teachers examine the effective use of technology within literacy and literature lessons and classrooms.

Research Questions

What is the role of technology within the modern literacy educational environment? How do teachers currently review the effectiveness of the use of technology within the literacy classroom?

Sub-Questions

How is technology currently used in today's classrooms to improve literacy education?

How do teachers choose technologies to use in their classrooms to improve literacy education?

How do teachers currently determine the effectiveness of the specific technologies for the improvement of literacy education?

How could teachers better integrate technology into literacy instructions?

Conclusion

All of these findings and conclusions have shown that the use of technology and student access has steadily increased over the last ten years. The… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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