With technology playing a role in almost every aspect of our lives, where do we draw the line and decide that we want to go tech-free? These past few years school systems have heavily relied on our Chromebooks, especially over covid. However, this reliance has stayed now that we are back in school, and with students spending hours staring at screens, mental and physical health can be seriously affected.
It is evident that technology plays an important role in our lives and will continue to progress and be more involved throughout our lives. So some may make the argument that it is not realistic to expect a break from technology while in school. Or that maybe it is important to continue to use Chromebooks because of the tools and opportunities they can offer. While it is true that there are many advantages that Chromebooks give us and some classes require them, I think it is more important to keep a certain balance in our lives. Computers lead to many distractions in the classroom, so often instead of them being used as a tool, students just mindlessly surf the internet or play computer games when using computers in class.
When teachers have students only use their Chromebooks students often go off task and work on things for other classes or don’t even do school work. If the teacher uses go-guardian, this can be stopped, but many students bring their computers to school and do not connect to go-guardian. I can’t count the number of times I have been in a class and all the students around me are working on different things on their Chromebooks instead of doing work for that class.
There are also some obvious benefits to the old-fashioned way of taking notes. Taking notes by hand is not only a good skill, but it can actually help you remember the information better. A study by Daniel M. Oppenheimer, Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Social and Decision Sciences and Department of Psychology, published in Sage Journals, shows that after students take longhand notes, they perform better on tests on the information than when they take notes with a computer. The results are shown in the provided graph below.
Maintaining a healthy balance with computers is very important for mental health, and when students spend 6 hours at school on the internet or staring at blue light, and then go home just to do the same, serious effects are evident. A study published by NIH titled “Computer use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults – a prospective cohort study,” showed just how harmful computer usage can be. The more the recipients used computers the more they experienced issues like sleep disturbances, symptoms of depression, and reduced performance due to stress. With mental health issues already on the rise for teens, school systems should be doing everything they can to combat these issues, and reducing Chromebook use is an important next step.
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