The widespread rise of modern technology has greatly impacted our society on every level. From our personal lives to our professional, every aspect of our daily lives has been changed. While the expectation of new technology is to make our lives easier and more effortless, the positive and negative impacts can be argued.
One aspect of our lives that is expected to be positively impacted is our education. Technology has made worldwide learning easier with online courses and free information, but it also has a negative impact on our schools. In addition to having a negative impact, there are some problems our schools face that cannot be fixed with technology. Technology is not enough to fix the systematic errors that schools face worldwide, but it also creates unique problems, as well as amplifies problems that already existed.
Another problem technology has amplified is bullying. While bullying, has always been an issue our education systems have had to deal with, the rise of cyberbullying has had a widespread effect on students everywhere. Nearly 43% of students say they have been bullied online and 64% of American children who admit to being cyberbullied say that it negatively affects their ability to learn.
Cyberbullying has a significant impact on children’s mental health, which can also affect their learning abilities. The rise of technology allows students to be targeted anytime, anywhere, rather than just at school. Students are struggling with the distracting caused by the constant fear of being harassed and attacked for anything they say and do. The amount of cyberbullying exceeds that of in-person bullying because most students believe it’s easier to get away with cyberbullying.
The anonymity technology allows is a unique problem school hasn’t had to face in the past. Cyberbullying is a problem that affects minorities most of all, with over half of LGBTQ students admitting they have been victims of cyberbullying, as well as people of color, disabled people and girls having a greater chance of being cyberbullied. Technology has made it easier to be a bully and get away with it, which has made education harder.
A lack of technology, which is arguably a problem with technology in itself, can also cause issues, especially for students who come from lower-class families. It is more difficult for a child of a low-income household to access the same information and technology that a more privileged child has easy access to.
Students from poor families have fewer opportunities to boost learning than children from rich society. Fortunately, there are many online services such as Pro-Papers, which help all students to study online only having access to the Internet. Low-income households, who cannot afford internet, a home computer or laptop, or an expensive phone, do not have the same access that higher-income families have.
This leaves students left to rely on dwindling public services, such as libraries, which can not only be hard to access for some students but are also facing the same lack of funding schools are. This also causes issues in low priority public schools that cannot afford the same technology private or well funded public schools can. This leaves children from low-income homes without the same opportunities that other students have. The lack of funding, in general, and for technology specifically, is the largest problem education has to face.
In addition to amplifying problems like bullying, the biggest problems in schools are systematic and simply cannot be helped by technology. Classroom sizes continue to get larger and larger, and teachers’ time and resources are stretched thinner. When there are too many students in a classroom, they are robbed of necessary one-on-one interactions with their teachers. Budget cuts are causing classroom size to skyrocket and technology cannot do anything to improve this issue.
The lack of one-on-one learning affects mentally ill students as well as students with learning disabilities most of all, due to the difficulties most face with standard teaching. These students fall through the cracks because they cannot access the teaching style they need. Worldwide students and teachers are impacted by their lack of funds. Until governments begin to put more money into public school systems, they will continue to struggle.
Poverty influences school systems in every step of education, from primary to university. Universities becoming less and less accessible, leaving students with loans they cannot pay off in their lifetime or an inability to attend at all due to funds. Students cannot further their education because they cannot afford it and this is an issue that technology cannot fix. In addition to university students being affected by poverty, it also affects high school students and lower grades. Studies show students who are not eating enough tend to learn less and retain less information. With schools cutting funding to things like free lunch programs, children are unable to obtain their basic human needs which result in academic shortcomings.
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The lack of funds schools are receiving worldwide is the biggest obstacle education faces. Technology cannot fix the issues of schools not having the money for the resources they need and until this problem is fixed, students and schools will continue to suffer from these issues. While it’s easier than ever to access information online, information means nothing unless you know how to learn from it. That is the biggest negative aspect of advanced technologies.