The Disadvantages of Technology in the Classroom

The advantages of technology in the classroom are numerous, but we can't ignore the disadvantages and do our best to minimize them.
The Disadvantages of Technology in the Classroom

Last update: 24 February, 2021

It’s popular to say that everything has its positive and negative sides. And the same applies when it comes to modern advances. Having said that, today, we’re going to analyze the disadvantages of technology in the classroom.

Because, let’s be realistic, technology greatly facilitates the work of teachers, access to information, and children’s learning. But not everything’s perfect. In the same way that it has unquestionable positive factors, there are also factors that aren’t so positive. In fact, they can become a problem in the medium and long term.

Problems and disadvantages of technology in the classroom

The truth is that this debate doesn’t imply that there’s a right or wrong option. There are drawbacks to technology in the classroom, just as there are many advantages. Here, we simply show the cons, without taking any position one way or the other.

Teacher substitution

Many fear that, after a reasonable period of time, technology may end up replacing the teacher. Maybe in the future, it’ll be possible; but today, it’s not yet possible.

The Disadvantages of Technology in the Classroom

However, we can find more and more examples of technology replacing the traditional role of teachers. For example, just look at online courses, video tutorials, etc.

Likewise, in many other sectors, such as industry or agriculture, machines have ended up replacing human professionals in certain automated tasks.

Obviously, we can’t compare a history lesson with harvesting a crop. Moreover, today’s machines don’t have the capacity to replace a teacher, who explains and delivers content and evaluates and sets learning objectives for students.

But there’s an increasing number of teachers who prepare a syllabus and that’s the end of their work. In online courses, for example, this is very common. There are also those who create an online tutorial or give a lesson and the student watches it whenever they want. This greatly reduces the teacher’s work. That’s how it is today. Soon, we’ll see where this ends up.

Student distractions due to technology in the classroom

While technology is positive as a method to involve students more in the subjects, it can also become a distraction if it’s not used properly. Therefore, children should be prevented from constantly accessing social networks and preventing them from focusing their attention on the lessons and what’s really important.

Children are curious by nature, so they begin to handle technology from a very young age, as they’re digital natives. This can be an advantage, but also a disadvantage if the use of cell phones, computers, etc., isn’t taken care of in detail.

Facilitates copying the work of peers

Technology facilitates communication, in the positive sense of the word, and also in the negative. Plagiarism has always worried teachers, but now it’s easier than ever.

Students have easy access to the work of their peers and also to that of other students and professionals. As a result, they can copy essays, reports, and tests that are published on the Internet and available for anyone to see.

The Disadvantages of Technology in the Classroom

Teachers have to equip themselves with anti-plagiarism tools that allow them to check whether their students’ work is original and follows the guidelines. Even so, it’s not an easy task.

Disparity of access

In addition, technology can cause disparity among students, as not all students have the same access to technology outside the classroom. Therefore, it’s best to offer any student the same possibilities inside the classroom, limiting the need for use outside of it.

Privacy

The last outstanding problem among the disadvantages of technology in the classroom is student privacy. It’s an issue that teachers, schools and parents need to consider, as these initiatives could require young people to expose their personal data, being minors in public spaces or places that can be hacked, exposed and misused by third parties, as could happen with social networks.

The drawbacks of technology in the classroom exist and should be considered when implemented in a school environment. Even if a controlled environment is promoted, its pros, but also its cons, must be taken into account.

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