Article by: Lucas Ramos
Technology has made a slow and steady rise in its integration with the classroom, with the addition of more and more features enhancing learning. Throughout the years, technology has become more prominent in classrooms- from basic computer programs a decade ago in ECLC to personal computers owned by each student in High School. The most important rule advocating technology is the Bring Your Own Device Policy. Formerly just for High School, it is now effective in grade levels as low as Grade 7. This policy states that each student needs his or her own personal computer to be part of ISM. Whereas we as high schoolers have better access to laptops in our day-to-day life than do toddlers, ECLC students get cool toys too: the school has invested in roughly 200 chromebooks and 350 iPads for them.
We have become almost totally dependent on our laptops. This is particularly due to the school’s high integration with technology, such as its use of the Google Drive and online resources. These features have created a number of conveniences for us- for example, sharing documents between people is simple, helping to enhance collaboration between ISM’s numerous students. The Google Drive system has also made the school eco-friendly on the whole: teachers now give assignments through online shared folders rather than by printing it out and distributing it. Research is also easier through our laptops: we have all of the internet’s wealth of information at our fingertips.
However, with all of this power, there are several obvious setbacks as well. While the internet is an extremely valuable resource for students, it can be a great hindrance as well. Going online has many risks of procrastination, especially because it is rife with distractions. Whether it be Facebook, Reddit, Youtube, or online games, there is always something to catch one’s attention other than the work one needs to complete. Studies have shown that the most distracting thing for students is in fact other students distracting themselves from working, a phenomenon akin to second-hand smoking. This shows that people should be cautious of using technology, as there can be negative effects to doing so.
Overall, technology evicts mixed feelings from the teacher and faculty. As Mr. Robertson says, he finds that “technology is something extremely useful, not just for [his] particular subject of computer science, but also for sharing information via the Drive.” However, he is wary of laptops faced away from him: he knows “full well the extent that students can be distracted by technology.” Similarly, Mr Dickinson holds this mixed view as well. He says that the “use of technology is based on appropriateness, because not the same thing works with all people”. Conclusively, technology can be a boon, but as many famous professors constantly remind us in the digital world- “There’s a time and place for everything.”