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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Tech in the classroom

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Maya Martinez
A UMass Boston Student passes time by playing games on her phone in a common room. Photo by Maya Martinez / Mass Media Staff

Since the age of the Internet, technology has continued to increase in importance in the classroom. As the years have progressed, technology has continued to integrate itself within our daily classroom experience. As technology continues to play a major role in how we are educated as students, understanding the way technology has changed the way we learn is critical in understanding its ramifications as we continue our education. From pre-school to graduate studies, technology is critical in our education. It’s extremely important to understand how and why that is. 

The integration of tech in the classroom has resulted in an increased ability of students and educators to communicate, research and learn, far beyond the capacity allowed by traditional school materials. According to the Pew Research Center, “92 percent of…teachers say the internet has a ‘major impact’ on their ability to access content, resources and materials for their teaching” (1). Technology has allowed students to write papers, research documents and communicate with their peers without even leaving their desks. While previous research had to be completed by going to a library, the Internet allows us to access all the information we need from the comfort of our homes. This increased availability of information means that we can access a great deal of research in an extremely quick manner, allowing for our research to be effective and well researched. Furthermore, this access to technology also means that we have regular access to communicate with our teacher.  While previously we would have to request to see our grades, in the modern age, all of our grades and assignments are all available to us with a click of a button. 

This ease of accessing our education is a huge positive to both students and society at large. Previously, students would have to print their assignments to hand in, but now students can securely submit their assignments virtually. This submission process also provides many educators with the ability to effectively check for plagiarism through teaching software. Additionally, students save money by buying e-textbooks, and less paper is printed as a result. The emergence of technology in the classroom has resulted in positive experiences for both students and educators.

However, it is not all positive. A study completed by the National Institute of Health regarding online education concluded that “a total of 507 (92.8 percent) children reported experiencing at least one asthenopic/dry eye symptom (AS/DS)” (2). Recent developments in science have resulted in many medical issues being identified as a result of prolonged exposure to computer screens. As many doctors and hospitals have noted, “digital eye strain is a group of eye and vision problems. The problems can include eyes that itch and tear, and are dry and red” (3). As students continue to spend endless hours on a computer screen, it is clear that while our eyes might eventually get used to these conditions, this won’t be for many generations. In the meantime, experts recommend the following measures to deal with these issues: Make sure to take breaks, blink often and use artificial tears if necessary (4). For additional information on dealing with eye strain, please visit https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eyestrain/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372403, and talk to your medical professional. 

While technology in the classroom has resulted in advancements in the way we learn regularly, it is clear that there are some unintended consequences that we must account for. If you are spending a lot of hours on your devices for school and work, take regular breaks and be sure to walk outside often to ensure that your eyes look at far distances to reduce eye strain. Make sure your posture is good and drink plenty of water. Although technology is really interesting, it can lead to some negative side effects, and it’s critical to fight these side effects regularly. 

  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2013/02/28/how-teachers-are-using-technology-at-home-and-in-their-classrooms/

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8365579/ 

  3. https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/c/computer-vision-syndrome.html#:~:text=Digital%20eye%20strain%20is%20a%20group%20of%20related%20eye%20and,problems%20help%20to%20cause%20it

  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eyestrain/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372403
About the Contributor
Maya Martinez, Photographer