deep learning

3. Stifling of cognitive development. It’s true that our overreliance on technology can cause the deterioration of certain cognitive skills. For example, if you rely exclusively on GPS systems to navigate, related cognitive skills like navigation, memory, and spatial reasoning start to decline over time. If you only teach a child to use a calculator, for example, they may never learn to do math problems in their head.

The problem with this argument is that technology is so ingrained in our everyday lives, our children may never be in a position to rely on these manual skills. Accountants don’t do math in their heads, and writers don’t (usually) use pencil and paper to write their first drafts. On top of that, schools aren’t relying solely on technology to do the teaching—it’s a hybrid model that teaches both technological and non-technological skills.

4. Test score effects. There are some isolated case studies of schools that have adopted technology, only to find their standardized test scores unimproved. An article from the New York Times pointed to a school system in Arizona that invested more than $33 million into new technology, yet saw little-to-no improvement in the standardized test scores of its students.

Here’s what’s important to remember: standardized test scores aren’t a full-picture perspective of what students are taking away from their education. Obviously, there are arguments for and against the use of standardized tests as a metric for measuring the success of an educational program, but the tests we use haven’t caught up to the modern age. Standardized tests don’t evaluate technological proficiency, nor can they accurately measure a child’s potential in different future career paths. Instead, they’re overly generalized, and schools with the highest test scores tend to be the ones focused exclusively on achieving those test scores (rather than preparing students for college, careers, or life in general).

5. Technology is expensive. Perhaps one of the best arguments against the use of technology in the classroom is the fact that technology is expensive to adopt, and may not yield benefits in proportion to that cost. The average American school district spends about $12,000 per child, while the cost of a single tablet or computer could eat up $500 alone.

However, there are many programs and organizations dedicated to introducing more technology into classrooms cheaply and effectively. Parents in many districts would be willing to provide their children with this equipment for a better learning experience, and not every child needs a personal device to themselves. Technology is expensive, but it’s not unfeasibly so.

The Best of Both Worlds

Nobody is arguing that schools should transition to entirely tech-driven curriculum, whether that means engaging remotely with AI interfaces or only using tablets for reading material.

But arguing against the use of technology only prevents students from developing the tech skills they’ll need to live in our modern world—and may even limit what they’re able to learn. The faster and more thoroughly we embrace technology in the classroom, the smarter and better-prepared our children can become.

About the Author:

Anna Johansson is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com and more, Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.