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Do you think todays generation is using technology in an affective way? Are they using it as a distraction, causing it to take away from their education? Technology is absolutely incredible and has grown to be such an amazing resource for education around the world, but that is if students are using it beneficially. Being a very young adult in the age of technology, my curiosity of the benefits of it towards students has come to my attention. Yes, most focus on how it expands students minds by giving them tons of information, but there are many ways technology can distract them from actually opening their mind and using it to assist their education. Being guilty of the phrase “wow, this class is so boring, let me check all my social media’s” was definitely a common occasion in school that happened to me or that I have witnessed, or “I bet these answers are on quizlet.” The first phrase is a distraction, and the second is a way of cheating. While some students use technology effectively, other are getting distracted by it, and using it as a way of cheating.

A recent study titled, “A Tool for Learning or a Tool for Cheating? (Stockelova, Tereza and Virtova, Tereza)” came to a conclusion about the negative effects on using technology for school work. This journal explains how websites can cause students to cheat or use plagiarism, while using the website for assistance on the subject they are searching for. While students begin research for a topic they are working on, they can come across articles they may find extremely useful and may try to take the easy way out. They might take the authors words and use them as their own, but some may believe this is not cheating, because they took it and put it in their own words, causing it to be a different structured sentence with the same meaning. This is not an effective way to use research. To expand their mind on the topic of what they are discussing, a student should not use someone else’s work as their own, they should use it as a way to support the point they are trying to make, without copying the original text. Here is an example from the previous text stated —“This is how plagiarism typically occurs: a student chooses as general a topic as possible for his or her thesis, finds a PDF with a similar topic in the database of defended theses and just changes the name of the author; or he or she compiles the thesis from Wikipedia.(Stockelova, Tereza and Virtova, Tereza.)” This is the common way students find the easy way out when it comes to their topic. If a student is choosing this route, they are choosing a route of failure. More than likely, the student will not learn anything from their topic by using plagiarism.

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Not only is it taking away from students being truthful and original, it is also taking away from their focus all together. Often, students get bored, which everyone has experienced from time to time. Students begin to look at their phones, checking Facebook, Twitter, other social media’s, causing them to miss out on the important information being discussed among the classroom. There was a recent study that showed the percentage of students who reported what they used their electronic device for in class — “Students are more distracted than ever. They tend to check their digital devices an average of 11.43 times during class for non-classroom activities…. The first form of distraction was texting, reported by 87% of students in the 2015 study. At 76% email came in second, followed by checking the time at 75%. Social networking was reported by 70% of students, Web surfing by 42%, and game-playing by 10%. (Schaffhauser, Dian.)” Therefor, I believe it is not possible to get the full effect of education students are attending or paying to receive if they are not using their time wisely in class. The time spent focused on electronic devices can be time spent connecting with the topic being discussed, causing a student to have a better performance in school. The time was estimated on how much time students waste on their electronic devices — “The time spent in non-learning activities can add up. During the typical four years students spend in college classrooms, they may be distracted on average for two-thirds of a school year.(Schaffhauser, Dian.)” College is too expensive to be wasting two-thirds of it being distracted.

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Now of course there are many arguments that can prove technology is nothing but a huge privilege for students in this generation, because of all the amazing resources that benefit us. Technology is now a primary source for mostly everything, and teachers often use it in so many different ways is all types of classes. Without it, education wouldn’t be as advanced as it is today. Many write about how it has grown in the classroom — “Educators have seen firsthand the benefits of technology in the classroom. Around 75% of educators think that technology has a positive impact in the education process. (Cox, Janelle)” Cox talks about how educators support the use of technology in the classroom, which they should. Unfortunately, the link between technology and education will not matter unless technology is being used by students correctly. This is the new generation of technology, everyone should feel lucky to be apart of such a huge historical change in the way education is being introduced, especially if technology is available for use. Not everyone in this world receives the chance to use technology to their benefits. Some countries cannot afford to bring technology to students, and it is despairing to see people manipulating technology instead of respecting their opportunities with it.

Are you using technology beneficially? Are you letting distractions get in the way of your education? These may be questions you want to ask yourself if you want to use technology in the  proper way. This is important and truly matters because more bad then good comes from being distracted by the time on your phone or someones new Facebook post. Students need to learn to turn that distraction into a new focus; a focus on how to take technology and run with it. This requires self discipline that students will need to develop — “Because fighting boredom was the most common reason cited by students for using devices in class, students need to learn more effective self-control techniques to keep them focused on the learning at hand. (Schaffhauser, Dian.)” There are many was to avoid this problem for educators as well; be assertive, make it clear students phones must be in their backpacks, include it in participation points. There’s endless ways educators have tried, but if it isn’t working, then they are not trying hard enough. If it truly matters in someones opinion, it can be effective. Nevertheless, find ways to use technology that will create an expansion in your mind, not build a wall. Students can self teach discipline to themselves and study why it is important they do not miss out on the education in front of them. Students who know this already are the future. Don’t you want to contribute to that success? Technology is an incredible source of education, but it requires effort and self discipline to be used in a valuable way.

Works Cited:

Stockelova, Tereza and Virtova, Tereza. “A Tool for Learning or a Tool for Cheating?” Chaffey Library Resources. May 2015.  http://web.b.ebscohost.com.chaffey.idm.oclc.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=3&sid=48cac7de-a6cc-4f87-9274-7d5e05e3d20f%40sessionmgr107&hid=129&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=EJ1062679&db=eric. Accessed 7 Nov. 2016.

Schaffhauser, Dian. “Research: College Students More Distracted Than Ever” Campus Technology, 20 Jan. 2016. https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/01/20/research-college-students-more-distracted-than-ever.aspx. Accessed 7 Nov 2016.

Cox, Janelle. “Benefits Of Technology in the Classroom” Teach Hub, Dec. 2015.http://www.teachhub.com/benefits-technology-classroom. Accessed 9 Nov 2016.