Though we generally see progress as a good thing, there are definite disadvantages of technology in the classroom. From distraction to reducing face time, EdTech isn’t a magic bullet for every situation. With some awareness, however, most disadvantages can be overcome, like some of the surprisingly old-school thinking that helps with tech disparity.
So read on for some disadvantages of technology in the classroom (and potential solutions).
From apps and e-textbooks to organizational platforms and “gamification,” there’s no shortage of technology in the classroom. But, while EdTech tools can make lessons more engaging and useful for students raised on technology, they can equally challenge teachers and lead to suboptimal outcomes for students. How can teachers get the most out of technology without sacrificing efficiency or engagement?
Here are 5 disadvantages of technology in the classroom and how to get past them for your students.
Smartphones have a bad reputation in classrooms and there have beenstrong cases for banning them in schools. Research suggests that during class time, when smartphones 42% of the time that students spent on their smartphones in the classroom, it was to text, tweet, or otherwise engage in social media rather than the lesson.
However, bans on devices such as smartphones are unlikely to work as students will inevitably get around them. Also, such bans would be resented by students, who consider the use of technology to be a matter of personal autonomy that should only be regulated when it distracts other students. While teachers can help students learn better self-control methods to help them to regulate their own use of devices, research shows that better lesson plans that promote student engagement have less off-task use of technology.
Therefore, the onus is on instructors to create engaging, inspiring, and stimulating lesson plans that incorporate technology. For example, smartphones can access educational apps that promote learning as well as time management.
Many teachers incorporate digital platforms into lesson plans and find that using social media can actually keep students engaged and encourage classroom participation. Some teachers even create twitter hashtags to encourage comments.
Technology can be used to supplement lesson plans with digital materials, including video, news stories, online discussions, and to encourage participation. Get creative!
Requires Management and Training
The rise of EdTech means that being effective in the classroom requires that teachers are effective on the screen and tech platform. Studies show that three-quarters of teachers say the internet and other digital tools have added new demands to their lives and have dramatically increased the range of content and skills about which they must be knowledgeable, with nearly half saying it has increased their workload.
New tech in the classroom also means needing IT professionals to help set it up, maintain it, and support teachers and students in its use. Clear and transparent communications among administration, faculty, and tech vendors that clarify how adopting a particular device, platform, or program will benefit students and teacher alike, can greatly enhance the use of technology in the classroom, to remove the suspicion that such technology is just “bells and whistles” with little actual value. Teachers also need access to training.
Moreover, institutions can help maximize their technical support staff by finding a less resource-intensive solution. Read 10 Reasons Education IT Administrators Love Interactive Touch Screen Displays.
Leads to Tech Disparity
Tech disparity refers to how much access students have to the necessary devices. The differences in access can be seen between school districts, with more affluent districts having greater resources, but it can also refer to differences among students in the same school, where students from wealthier families having greater access. A recent survey indicates that while 84 percent of American teens have a smartphone, the other 16 percent don’t. Reaching out to that 16 percent is the goal.
Tech disparity also refers to school policymaking and tech management. For example, the above survey also points out that while three-quarters of teachers working in wealthier districts felt that their schools provided adequate training, only half of the teachers in low-income areas agreed. Around 40 percent of teachers in economically disadvantaged areas saw their schools as behind the curve in technology advancement.
Teachers and administrators can take practical steps toward bridging the tech divide. Assuming unequal access to devices, schools can focus on technology that can be shared among classes, for example, shared tablet computers and school computer labs, not to mention school-based Wi-Fi.
Then, there is tech that can be used within the classroom, such as interactive whiteboards and projectors, as well as a digital curriculum that all students can access.
Bridging the tech divide is not easy, but for a fairer society with equal opportunity, it needs to be the focus of all efforts. (But a good start to fighting tech disparity is a computer lab in school.)
Nothing in this world is free, and buying cutting-edge electronics for a classroom is downright expensive. While there’s no way to avoid spending money modernizing a classroom, it is at least possible to maximize the total cost of ownership (TCO) by installing devices with longer lifespans and reduced maintenance. Tech with higher upfront costs might actually save the school money as it will face fewer issues and have less downtime while being easier to use. Schools need to assess TCO carefully before choosing purchasing tech.
Moreover, the use of technology should not be confined to the classroom and in fact can be used to streamline administrative systems, cutting costs, boosting productivity, and reducing time wasted on administrative tasks. Cloud computing, for example, offers substantial opportunities for schools to save money. Switching to a digital curriculum eliminates the need to continuously replace outdated textbooks.
Cloud-based computing also reduces the need to keep expensive hardware on-site, which can save in administrative costs, reduce payroll costs (fewer IT techs), and eliminates that 24-hour air-conditioned server room. Also, sharing materials online rather than printing them out saves costs of printers and ink – substantial costs for schools – not to mention all that hard work spent printing.
In short, while technology has obvious costs attached to it, viewed holistically, it can also provide substantial opportunities for cost reductions that more than compensate.
Less Face Time
No amount of technology in the classroom can replace talented, inspired teachers. As the adage goes, any teacher that can be replaced with a tech device probably deserves to be replaced.
Technology is not the solution to ensuring a healthy vigorous learning culture, it is simply a pedagogical tool that is only as valuable as the instructor who wields it. In fact, while billions of dollars are spent on EdTech, countries that don’t deploy tech often have better educational outcomes than countries that spend heavily.
Face to face interactions between teacher and student can help students not just acquire facts, but to understand, interpret, and apply these facts into useful and interesting knowledge. Through face to face interactions, teachers can help students build self-esteem and confidence and emotional maturity. Particularly in disadvantaged areas, teachers can provide a zone of comfort and security, and everywhere teachers can reduce the cyberbullying that so often accompanies social media.
There are lots of ways to synthesize tech into real-world activities, but sometimes teachers just need to switch off the tech and get down to personal interactions. For example, while so much information can be readily accessed on the Internet, so much of that information is dubious at best and sometimes downright malevolent. Teachers need to guide students on how best to identify useful sources and balance differing viewpoints.
Of course there will be challenges along the way as we adopt new technologies in education and improve them to suit student outcomes. But the advantages vastly outweigh the disadvantages of technology in the classroom. It is just always important to remain aware of where the latest tech is coming up short and to adjust course for the best possible learning outcome for the students.
There’s no reason to be afraid of EdTech, but nor should we rush blindly into digital transformation. After all, education is all about learning, and we should all be open to the ongoing process of improvement that comes with it.
Want to learn more about implementing EdTech? Check this out:Technology in the Classroom: The Complete Guide. Or go directly to ViewSonic’s technology solutions for education.
edtechclassroom technologyedtech solution
- Data Security.
- Crime and Terrorism.
- Privacy Concerns.
- Social Disconnect.
- Work Overload.
- Digital Media Manipulation.
- Job Insecurity.
- Pro: Using Technology Can Excite Young Students. ...
- Con: Use of Technology Can Distract Students. ...
- Pro: Prepares Students for the Future. ...
- Con: Removes Children from Opportunities for Socialization. ...
- Pro: Technology Encourages Spontaneous Learning.
- Depression and Other Mental Health Issues. A University of Michigan study found that Facebook use led to a decrease in happiness and overall life satisfaction. ...
- Lack of Sleep. ...
- ADHD. ...
- Obesity. ...
- Learning Barriers. ...
- Decreased Communication and Intimacy. ...
- Cyberbullying. ...
- Loss of Privacy.
Children who overuse technology may be more likely to experience mental health issues, including lack of attention, low creativity, delays in language development, delays in social and emotional development, and addiction to these technologies.What is 1 most obvious disadvantage of using technology in teaching and learning? ›
Extra Distractions for Students
Students are having a hard time trying to focus most of the time. Like an essay writer at write-my-paper-for-me.com, students have to fight off some distractions to focus on their work. Devices such as laptops and smartphones don't help the case.
physical inactivity and obesity. poor sleep quality. social issues, such as social incompatibility and anxiety. aggressive behaviors.How can technology distract students? ›
Glass found that exam performance was significantly worse for students who used electronic devices during class versus those who did not. In fact, a University of Chicago study found that even if cell phones were turned off, their mere presence on the desk reduced people's cognitive capacity.What are 3 disadvantages of digital technology? ›
The advantages of digital technology come from enterprise source planning, increased customer communication, and improved productivity. Disadvantages of digital technology include high costs of installation, resistance from employees, and security of data.What are 5 advantages and 5 disadvantages of technology? ›
|Advantages of Technology||Disadvantages of Technology|
|3. Enhanced learning and education||3. Isolation and loneliness|
|4. Access to information and knowledge||4. Privacy and security concerns|
|5. Automation of repetitive tasks||5. Overreliance on technology|
People rely so much on technology that their physical health is affected. Science and development have a very adverse impact on nature, including the exploitation of natural resources and leading to deforestation. People use technology as a weapon for illegal activities.
Technology in education does more than facilitate connections between generations — it's also a great way to encourage active learning. Technology provides opportunities for students to consider real challenges and come up with solutions.How does technology affect students learning? ›
The same is applicable to online learning. Technology helps students form communities and communicate their opinions on projects and assignments, which in turn develops the students' communication skills, which have a lasting effect on their professional lives as well.
Using technology for academic purposes is a major distraction for students, making it hard for them to multitask. According to research, students are not the only ones who feel a sense of stress or anxiety when having to learn to use technology in the classroom.What are the three main challenges facing technology today? ›
- What Are the Current IT Issues? ...
- Cybersecurity Threats Continue. ...
- The Skills Gap Widens. ...
- Data Protection and Privacy. ...
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. ...
- Enhanced Agility in IT Environments. ...
- Selling Solutions and Innovation. ...
- Supporting Remote Work and Infrastructure.
- 1) Read yourself in. In case we don't know where to start, free essay samples will guide us through every single step.
- 2) Take part. ...
- 3) Avoid isolation. ...
- 4) Be reasonable. ...
- 5) Kids are no robots. ...
- 6) Watchdog. ...
- 7) Creativity.
Difficult time concentrating. Extreme sense of worry or fear during daily activities. Attempting to harm one's self or thinking about it. Partaking in risky behaviors that can lead to harming themselves or others.Is a negative impact of technology? ›
Technology promotes a more sedentary lifestyle.
This may be one of the biggest drawbacks of a device-filled world. Kids who play video games constantly and those who spend a great deal of their time online don't get as much physical exercise.
Technology can negatively affect children's developing social skills, relationships, health, and overall ability to focus. developing their social skills. This can lead to more children being socially awkward, withdrawn, shy, or intimidated by social situations.
The internet, smart devices, and social media can all cause information overload, lack of productivity, distractions in the workplace, and misunderstandings among coworkers.What is the advantage and disadvantages? ›
A disadvantage is the opposite of an advantage, a lucky or favorable circumstance. At the root of both words is the Old French avant, "at the front." Definitions of disadvantage. the quality of having an inferior or less favorable position. Antonyms: advantage, vantage.
Increased isolation, reduced social interaction and social skills, and increased human-to-machine interactions are all a result of an overuse of technology, which has created a wall between many people globally.How does technology affect sleep? ›
Using devices tends to delay the time when you actually go to sleep, reducing sleep duration. Technology affects the brain, stimulating your mind and making it harder to fall asleep. Sounds and blinking lights can cause unwanted awakenings when sleeping next to electronics.How technology affect our life? ›
Improved Quality of Life
From communication and transport to healthcare and connectivity, technology has enhanced our lives for the better. The best part is that it is ever-evolving by facilitating more advanced features. For instance, we have come far from traditional audio calls to instant messaging and facetime.
- Turn off technology during class and study time.
- Put your phone in your bookbag so you don't see it.
- Turn off notifications on your phone.
- Turn off unnecessary websites or apps that aren't necessary for the task at hand.
Top distractions for students include social media, texting, television, and family, which can pull one's attention away from the task at hand and diminish productivity.What are 5 disadvantages of digital devices? ›
The disadvantages of digital technology include the spread of disinformation, addiction to social media, compromised personal privacy, increase in the crime rate, breaches in data security, loss of traditional lifestyle and values, development of more deadly weapons of war, loss of jobs and information overload.What are 5 disadvantages of digitalization? ›
- Complexity and fragmentation. ...
- Lack of standardization. ...
- High costs. ...
- Risk of failure. ...
- Disruption to employees. ...
- Loss of customer trust. ...
- Data security concerns.
- Improves efficiency for Business. The best advantage of any technology is that it increases the efficiency of a business process.
- Saves time. ...
- Better communication. ...
- Reduces cybercrime risks.
- Cons. ...
- Extreme dependability. ...
- Expensive. ...
- Shortage of jobs.
|1. Access to information from anywhere in the world||1. Addiction and excessive use|
|2. Communication with people all over the globe||2. Cyberbullying and online harassment|
|3. E-commerce and online shopping||3. Cybercrime and identity theft|
The benefits of science include the improvement of life and the production of numerous inventions. Science has drawbacks since it affects human health and nature, and results in the exploitation of natural resources.
While technology contributes to economic development and improves human prosperity, it can also have negative impacts like pollution and resource depletion, and can cause social harms like technological unemployment resulting from automation.What are the disadvantages of computer science? ›
- Analysis. Technology occupations involving computer science require analytical skills to detect potential issues and develop solutions for them. ...
- Commitment. ...
- Cost. ...
- Creativity. ...
- Developments. ...
- Education. ...
- Health. ...
Students Who Use Technology Get Worse Grades
Results: Both laptop and tablet users performed worse than students who did not use technology at all. The differences in scores was even more significant for the class' best and brightest students, who researchers think overestimated their ability to multitask.
Technology helps children become independent learners more quickly. Once they learn how to access digital information sources safely, they're able to explore the topics that interest them on their own. Children learn the importance of building communities and how to interact with people in social situations.Does technology have a negative or positive impact on education? ›
Enhances learning and facilities students
The most positive effect of technology on students is that it widely helps and enhances the learning process of students. Each and every detail of all the subjects are available online on various sites where students can go if they're stuck.
It also encourages active engagement and interactivity that students are so accustomed to outside of class, and miss when having to pay attention to lesson materials. Interactivity makes it easy for students to revisit specific parts of the subjects, to explore them more fully, to test ideas, and to receive feedback.How does technology affect reading? ›
Reading on a digital device is distracting.
Reading on an internet-enabled device or with preloaded video games is highly distracting. Ninety percent of students felt that they were more likely to be multitasking while reading digitally, while only 1% felt that a hardcopy would make them more likely to multitask.
Specialized software helps to define and correct common grammar mistakes. Technologies allow adults to feel more confident in writing—people overcome a fear of making errors and, consequently, advance in mastering literacy skills. Another significant problem for adult learners is lack of engagement.Is technology more harmful or beneficial? ›
In conclusion, technology is beneficial for humans and society. Even with its negative effects, it has helped society progress to a more advanced level where we can accomplish tasks and problems with ease. It has improved the quality of life, medicine, communication, and entertainment.How do students use technology in the classroom? ›
Ways to Incorporate Technology in the Elementary Classroom
Students can use interactive games to reinforce math, spelling, phonetic, and reading skills. Sites like Spelling Training permit students or teachers to upload their own word lists to practice word pronunciation and create interactive games.
The three main types of limits on technology are natural, economic, and ethical. As we learned, natural limits are ones where the laws of the universe physically prevent us from doing something. This is a hard limit; it's one we can't get around unless understanding of the universe changes.Why is technology a problem in education? ›
About 60 percent said it hindered students' ability to write and communicate face to face, and almost half said it hurt critical thinking and their ability to do homework. Also, 76 percent of teachers believed students are being conditioned by the internet to find quick answers, leading to a loss of concentration.What are the 10 disadvantages of e learning? ›
- Limited Teacher to Student Feedback.
- Risk of Social Isolation.
- Cheating is more brutal to monitor.
- E-learning is inaccessible to digitally illiterate people.
- Issues with Accreditation and Quality Assurance.
- Requires self-motivation and efficient time management skills.
Educational disadvantage is demonstrated in many ways, most often in poor levels of participation and achievement in the formal education system. There are other ways in which children may be disadvantaged, for example as a result of a disability, literacy difficulties, ill health or poverty.How will you overcome challenges in technology use? ›
- Step 1: Understand your motivations. ...
- Step 2: Undertake due diligence. ...
- Step 3: Be patient & address concerns.
- Lack of face-to-face interaction.
- Difficulty staying motivated.
- Limited access to resources and support.
- Technical difficulties.
- Online Learning Requires Self-Discipline. ...
- Online Learning Requires Additional Training for Instructors. ...
- Online Classes Are Prone to Technical Issues. ...
- Online Learning means more screen-time.
- Causes Distraction. ...
- Kids Avoiding Outdoor Activities. ...
- Losing the Ability to Communicate. ...
- Spending More Time Online. ...
- Health Concerns. ...
- Privacy Issues. ...
- Student's Cyberbullying. ...
- Causing anonymity.
The distracting nature of much screen-based technology can result in children not navigating these social skills to navigate their interpersonal relationships. As a result, they may develop poorer social skills and be less adept in problem-solving with their peers long term.What is 1 example of disadvantage? ›
Noun She had the disadvantage of growing up in a poor community. They argued that the new regulations would place their company at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. There are advantages and disadvantages to the new system.
Educationally disadvantaged persons may have educational deficits, learning disabilities, or cultural backgrounds that limit communication with a researcher. It is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure that a subject is fully informed.What are disadvantages of information education? ›
1) it may be distracting to students, 2) it may disconnect students from face-to-face relationships, 3) it may make cheating easier, 4) it may disadvantage certain students, 5) it may cause students to use unreliable resources for learning, 6) it may make curriculum planning more difficult or expensive, 7) it may ...