Despite people constantly saying that the coming generations are becoming dumber and dumber, students in the 21st century are fundamentally the same as students from previous generations. Students as a whole have always wanted to access information faster, interact with teachers more, and feel the instant gratification that Vishal Singh talked about. The main difference is that many students of the previous two centuries could only dream about something like that, while 21st century students have it more than ever. It all depends on how students use this new-found technology. In Matt Richtel’s “Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction”, Vishal Singh excessively uses Facebook and Youtube and other digital gadgets and is constantly distracted from his schoolwork. He says on Youtube, “You can get a whole story in six minutes. A book takes so long. I prefer immediate gratification.” It is very important for people to understand their relationship with digital media early on and do something about it if they find something wrong. Hopefully with this method the chance of extreme addiction to technology can be prevented. His school is also using technology to improve their education system. Alan Eatan says that technology has lead to a lack of focus and stamina and schools make it worse by adopting the technology. Getting a good focus and powerful stamina is part the student’s responsibility and should not be determined by their use of gadgets. Students may learn slightly differently than students before their time but who says the way previous students learned is the ideal method of learning, anyway?

Listing the structures of formal education is a very complex and difficult thing to do. We need to at least try to rethink the very structures of what education has been in order to not completely replace them with a new educational schema but to make some changes. Many schools have a general educational structure that every student goes through, and a lot of these student have indifferent attitudes  towards it. In “Attention versus distraction? What that big NY Times Story leaves out”, Megan Garber claims that Vishal’s academic problems does not stem from the fact that he is not a smart student nor is it that he is the victim of a mass outbreak of web-borne distraction. It is because that he simply does not care about algebra. When I was in high school, I had to take classes that I did not really care for. Like Vishal, I took those classes because I was expected too. I did not care about these courses but unlike Vishal I did not allow myself to be severely distracted from my education. Vishal had no interest and probably replaced that empty space with the Net and other electronic gadgets.The students and the education system both have their own responsibilities in creating a modified educational schema. Students should attempt to notice whatever problems they believe they have with their relationships with technology and the education system. The education system should add new concepts to already existing courses or have new courses that students are passionate about. Technology can be used to form stronger bonds over these topics between teacher and student or student to student, not that that can not be done in person.

In some ways, it is possible to understand changes in education the same way humans developed as a result of natural evolution over hundreds of years. In “This is How We Think: Learning in Public After the Paradigm Shift”, the expert said that if the final destination of information is not on paper and on screen, the relationships between teachers and students and the students and and the text changes. As the display of text evolves, relationships with it change. Similarly, as humans encountered natural evolution, their relationships with each other changed. Everything is physically the same, but the way they interact and perceive each other has evolved. In terms of understanding educational texts and understanding human beings, we now live in a time where we have gone from as the video says from “information scarcity to information super-fluid ed”.


Technology in Education