The Pros & Cons Of How Technology Is Affecting Teen Education

All over the country, parents are struggling with talking to their teenagers about how their mobile devices are affecting them. Since most teenagers are glued to their screen, most kids do not see the harm in it as it has become a “normal” part of our daily lives. 

Unfortunately, many teens are having a hard time focusing in school and teachers are increasingly getting frustrated because they can’t keep the child’s attention in the classroom. So how is new technology affecting students education and their ability to achieve more? Some argue that it has been quite beneficial while others say that it is causing more harm than good.

Often parents, educators, health professionals, and even politicians tend to demonize new technologies as a source of incitement to violence, pornography or even as a source of addiction behavior (especially towards gambling). Although this observation applies to a minority of adolescents, who are generally vulnerable, the majority of young people, boys as well as girls, adapt relatively well to these new tools and make room for them in their daily existence.

In the area of ​​education and learning, the internet is a unique and valuable source of information for all adolescents that is improving their ability to get a quality education. Through research resources such as Google or Yahoo, encyclopedic tools such as Wikipedia, or the video archiving offered by YouTube, young people are stimulated in their curiosity and assisted in the preparation of presentations or documents. 

As proof, a recent study conducted by Parenting Teenagers Academy has shown that moderate Internet use leads to more favorable academic progress, compared to non-use or excessive use. It is also important that young people are accompanied in these discoveries by adults and their teachers. On the one hand, they are not very aware of the risks associated with plagiarism, and on the other hand, they sometimes struggle to use their critical spirit and to sort out quality information and much less valid, even frankly proselytizing content. 

According to many of the leading speakers on education, the Internet also represents a mode of invaluable socialization for the young people, who discover through the forums of other people of their age interested in the same fields, can exchange ideas, this not only on the local level, but sometimes beyond the borders . 

Forums of all kinds, more or less interactive, thus constitute a potential for stimulating exchanges, encouraging adolescents to better discover and explore their environment, the functioning of the world around them, or even to develop ideals. For those of young people suffering from lack of confidence, shyness, or even inhibition, the internet offers the possibility of taking a first step out of their isolation. They can also access inspiring words on education that can compel them to want to study more.

For young people suffering from a disability or a chronic illness, the mobile phone and the internet are a way of compensating for the isolation into which their frequent illnesses or prolonged bed rests plunge them. 

They can in particular, through specialized sites, exchange experiences or emotions with other adolescents placed in similar situations. Some of them, especially from the middle of adolescence, are able to search the internet for information on their illness and their treatment, thereby increasing the feeling of control they have over their condition. Finally, more and more health professionals are using new technologies to improve the therapeutic adherence of their young patients, with automatic reminders for taking medication for example, or appointment reminders, or finally possibility of communicating to them the results of certain laboratory tests. 12 These technologies raise a number of important questions regarding data storage and confidentiality which are currently not fully resolved.