Is It Worth It? (Refutation 4)

As the debate continues, opposing sides are pushing for either all classrooms functioning with tablets or sticking to the traditional method with textbooks. This argument has even been debated by political figures. Christine Quinn, New York City Council speaker, said “We currently spend more than a hundred million dollars a year on textbooks. That’s enough money to buy tablets for every student in New York City public schools and cover staff costs to make sure these online texts are meeting rigorous standards.” This point was brought up by a very well proven article by Lauren Moffett that using tablets saves more money than textbooks. She goes into depth that using tablets will replace not only textbooks but pencils and notebooks too. A point has been made that tablets can hold hundreds of textbooks on one device. A tablet also has room for homework, quizzes, and other files which eliminates any need for physical storage of books and classroom materials. But there are extreme downsides to getting rid of everything and only having a simple device. Let’s dig deeper.

Not only is using a tablet in class extremely distracting, but it also may be a factor on why this generation is developing a shorter attention span. According to 87% of teachers (for grades K-12), believe that “today’s digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans.” Is it really a good idea to contribute to that? By only having tablets, this creates a gateway of distractions. Imagine an entire school day with JUST a tablet. That would be incredibly boring.

Another point – it is very likely that your tablet (or any electronic device) will freeze at some point in the school day as well. By replacing textbooks with tablets, your removing the only option you have when your device crashes. This would be a very bad situation for students at a younger age.

Older students have a different situation to avoid. Theft. Most college students RELY on technology. All of their information is stored on their devices. PDF of textbooks, assignments, PowerPoint notes, the list goes on. Basically all of your eggs are in one basket. And if something happens to that device, you lose everything. It is not a good idea to put so much trust in technology and completely overlook the traditional method of note taking. At any point if you aren’t careful, your device could get stolen. The Associated Press did an article on the huge epidemic of theft with devices. In San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, robberies related to internet-enabled handheld devices have accounted for 50, 40, and 25 percent of all robberies in 2012 (for a video on more statistics click here for a ABC news segment). In that same year, the stolen and lost devices have cost Americans more than $30 billion. Even if Quinn makes a point about saving money by getting rid of textbooks, it’s clear that tablet is still going to cost you in the long run.

So is it all worth it? I don’t think it’s the worth the risk, money and possible contribution to the youth’s decline in attention span. What are your thoughts? Make the right decision and stick to traditional learning methods!



Can Relying on Technology for School Work Remain Feasible in the Future?


As you may be aware, the new iPhone X was released just a short time ago. The price of this new device starts at $999, which is $300-$400 more than previous models. This substantial price increase got me thinking about whether or not future tech will become so expensive, that very few will be able to afford it. I know that the iPhone X is a phone and not a laptop, but it’s not impossible for laptops and tablets to follow suit. In fact, at the rate laptops and tablets keep advancing, I would say that substantial increases for these devices aren’t far off. So how does this relate to the technology vs traditional study method argument?

Well, in the likely event laptop and tablet prices skyrocket, technology could become hard to obtain or even be unobtainable to those who are able to afford that stuff now. Right now laptops are available for as low as $300-$400, but if those prices were to double, that could spell trouble for a lot of students. This would mean that students who solely rely on technology for school, could be unable to afford future upgrades. If a student is unable to upgrade, they would no longer be able to use the technology they have become hopelessly reliant on. Should this scenario come to pass, those students would have to rely on technology a lot less and traditional methods a lot more. Switching study methods could have a negative impact on a student’s ability to perform in school and in professional settings. When relying on technology for everything, there are a lot of variables to consider. Unfortunately, there are just too many unknowns in the equation to call relying on technology a safe bet. It’s better to rely on the more traditional methods and use technology sparingly.

Meet the Bloggers: Jordan Cooper

myAvatar (1)

Hello everyone, my name is Jordan Cooper. I am a Communication major at the Universities at Shady Grove. I am interested in this topic of classic versus modern learning tools, because I am invested in the future of the generation of students that will succeed me. I am a firm believer in the healthy coexistence of tactile (or “analog”) and digital tools in the classroom. Basic skills should not be wholly sacrificed for constantly replaced — not to mention expensive — modern technology.  I just feel as though as our society gets older, the human element in education (among other societal sectors) is downplayed or even removed completely. I reiterate, I am not calling for the focus of solely traditional resources in the classroom, but I am advocating for caution in assuming solely digital resources are a superior replacement (I have no desire to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”, so to speak).

Meet the Bloggers: Matthew

myAvatarHello! My name is Matthew. I am a Junior at the University of Maryland, College Park and I am studying Communication with a focus in digital media and visual communication. I absolutely love technology. I always upgrade to the newest gadgets whenever a new one releases, I own multiple high-end computers, game consoles, T.V.’s, and smartphones. I am absolutely surrounded by technology. Unfortunately having all this tech has made me reliant on it and as much as I hate to admit it, I can’t go 10 mins without using some sort of tech. The only time I can do something without the use of technology is when I’m taking school notes. I still prefer handwriting my notes for two reasons. The first reason is that I don’t have to create a backup of my notes because I’m worried that my computer might die. The second reason is that I read in a few studies that those who hand write notes are more likely to remember the content over those who type their notes. Anyway, we will be posting new stuff to the blog weekly and I hope you guys like it!!

Meet The Bloggers: Bethany

myAvatar (1)

Hi! I’m Bethany. I’m a junior at the University of Maryland, College Park and I’m studying Communication with a focus in digital media and visual communication. Although all of that sounds very tech savvy, I would still chose taking my notes on a good ole fashioned notebook versus typing it on my laptop. This is super important to me because it’s easy for me to get distracted and having a laptop in my face with a hundred different ways to get sidetracked does not help me at all. I believe that in the time period we are in now, with so much technology outlets – it has caused many of the youth with difficulty paying attention. That is because they are so used to fast action technology. I hope in my posts you’ll be able to get a new understanding of learning tools in relation to education today. Enjoy!


Welcome to Classic vs. Modern Learning Tools

We are a group that is studying at University of Maryland. We are all communication majors and decided to blog on the subject of Classic vs. Modern Learning Tools.

Our position for this topic is that there needs to be more of a balance of technology and classic traditional tools in the classroom. Classic tools help in many aspects of education but also in life while technology should be used but not used to the extent to where technology does everything from thinking and actions for people.

We will be posting arguments with credible sources and evidence supporting our position that classic learning tools need to be kept and used more than rely solely relying on technology to do the work.

We hope you enjoy our blog and hope our posts will get you thinking about what is important in education learning tools.