Frustration behind the screen

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Frustration behind the screen

Ainslie Schlagel, Editor in Chief

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Parents, grandparents, teachers, and anyone who grew up having conversations that were not over a phone, curse the ever growing technology. While computers and phones fry the brains of young kids, an online curriculum implemented into schools and everyday learning only leaves confusion for kids.

This contradiction has left many students frustrated. Technology, once being the biggest nuisance according to most adults, acts as the only way to access certain curriculum. Faulty computers, substandard internet, defective printers, all of which remain possible errors when using an online curriculum. Yet, when the issues occur a student is still put at fault for it and penalized. It might  be pointed out that no “excuses” such as this exist with pen and paper, faulty books do not exist, pens do not run out of power as computers do.

Not only do computers fail from time to time, there remains an assumption that every student owns a computer or has access to one, which proves to be false in some cases. No student should be penalized for not owning a computer that can cost some families far too much.

Even with the access of computers and without any technical difficulty, programs online prove to be confusing and fail to exhibit a student’s progress. An example of such a program, StudySync, was recently implemented into all required Mason High School English Courses. This program left a lot of confusion for not only students, but also teachers. Although teachers attempt to remain positive, if that teacher does not fully understand a program then they can not be expected to educate at their full potential. Often, the assessments given through StudySync have very few, poorly worded questions with multiple answers that have the potential to be correct if looked at through different interpretations.

When only given these few problems to judge a student’s progress than if even one question may be incorrect, that student will receive a near failing grade. For example, Skills Lessons on StudySync, only give a mere two questions. Assessments such as this lack depth and can not truly showcase a student’s proficiency. StudySync, and programs similar, do bring forth some good points that should be made note of, but in the end the majority of students find this change to be very frustrating, especially those raised in a traditional learning style.

Despite the expressed frustrations by students and staff members over the programs and technology being used, within the next few years it is rumored every classroom will be receiving Chromebooks. Although complaints continue to rise, the bigger picture must be looked at, technology continues to grow quicker and quicker, no matter who likes it.

Technology in classrooms will, without a doubt, prepare students for the prospective future of technology. Despite this, students remain frustrated and confused over the new found use of technology, when instead they should be preparing for growth of technology in the classroom.