Digital tools weren’t always the norm

Jessica Antoun ‘15 uses her phone while in class.

Jessica Antoun ‘15 uses her phone while in class.

Ellie Baguzis ‘16

Opinions Editor

Digital technology has impacted the way people learn throughout the years; some aspects of it are genius, while other aspects cause concern. “Students used to communicate instead of staring down at their phones,” Debra Hoepfner, English teacher, said. “They are addicted to their phones.”

The hallways, which were once filled the students’ voices, are now nearly silent. The lives of today’s youth revolve around the internet which is easily accessed on the phone.

“It’s the intensity with which people are embracing the technology; it’s not the technology,” Hoepfner said.

“I remember in high school I had a computer with internet, but there was really nothing to do on it, it was just kind of there,” James Ekdahl, German teacher, said, “But I still have my TI-85 graphing calculator which was pretty cool back when I was in school.”

Teachers have mixed feelings when it comes to advances in technology. Does technology enhance learning or is it just a distraction?

“Technology is a major distraction,” Mark Forbert, history teacher, said. “There are too many opportunities to cheat with phones, although students can also send pictures of notes to people who are absent. There is good and bad to having them.”

“If used effectively, technology overall has a positive effect on learning. The problem is that we need to focus on using technology as a tool, not as a replacement for learning,” Caroline Nagle, German teacher, said.

If students need information for homework, they can search for it with a minimum amount of work involved, but it also helps kids learn what they need to faster.

“Technology has had a positive effect on schooling. Now it is easier to get the information needed; also, students can communicate with teachers and friends,” Ekdahl said.

Students are fortunate enough to have cell phones and computers, although sometimes they abuse the privilege.

“We didn’t have easy access to computers to type papers on, and actually had to read to find information we needed.” Ekdahl said.

“I feel like people think they do not have to memorize things as much because they can look down at their phone for answers,” Nagle said.

Students do not appreciate reading as much as they used to and reading is one of the most important things they should do, teachers say.

“Students used to have to open a book and read to find the information needed. No one spends hours at a library trying to find useful sources for their papers anymore,” Forbert said.

Cell phones and computers are consuming students’ lives. They struggle to peel their eyes away from their phone screens and interact with the world around them.

“It is a challenge to get every student’s attention. They can hardly pay attention because they are so distracted by electronics,” Hoepfner said.

Life without technology was simple; however, it does make things easier now.

“It used to take hours to calculate grades; computers now make it so much faster,” Hoepfner said.

Teachers do not have to spend hours after school adding up every kid’s grade and calculating it by hand.

“Projectors used to be these big monstrosities that they rolled in from the library. It was a lot like an Elmo today,” Forbert said.

Throughout the years, creating and developing the school newspaper became much less of a hassle.

“Someone would have to go through and retype every story into the paper,” news adviser Kim Kozian said. “Then they would have to lay it all out and design it by hand before sending it to the printer. Now, the newspaper’s production is entirely digital.”

Technology has impacted schooling over the years. Even though it consumes peoples’ lives, it is now a major part of life.