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Is modern technology teaching our kids to be lazy?

Mary Scorpati

I teach high school remediation. All of my students are juniors, and must pass the state test in March. The spelling and writing skills of many of my students are extremely below grade level. Some have rarely used a dictionary and don't know what guide words are. They have so much knowledge about the computer, and use spell check to correct mistakes. Hand them a cell phone, and they can text message all day long. Give them a calculator and they can figure out any problem, but hand them a pencil and paper and they go blank.
I advocate for technology as a resource for learning, but it seems that this is the reason that so many students are unable to do things manually. I know that the basic skills should be mastered in elementary school, but my kids are juniors already and they haven't gotten there yet. Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions or comments are welcome.

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Teacher to a child with physical challenges and gifted intelligence.

Is modern technology...The media balance

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In a new world powered by multimedia, it would be unethical not to teach students how to use it, and how to use it responsibly. That being said, the old school ways have a larger part still in the futures of these students. Well read, well cultured professionals are not born that way. The schools must take the responsibility to make sure the children are educated in a thorough and well rounded manner. Many students, unfortunately, do not have access outside of schools to dictionaries, thesaurus' or encyclopedias. Many schools allow calculators at a very young age when they are not yet needed. This only takes up valuable time they could use toward working problems out on paper and learning to do them in their head.
I have noticed a horrible lack of all areas of Language Arts in high school and college students. I have heard discussions of expelling handwriting practice altogether! How frightening the future looks if these ways are given up.
Today, we want every thing fast, instant, now! No time to do math problems, to write papers, look up an answer or go to a library. It really is ridiculous. Technology has made us all lazy. There are many neighborhoods where the streets and playgrounds are bare. Where are the children? They are not outside getting fresh air and the opportunity to explore.
I am an advocate of multimedia tools as well. But I refuse to let my child let electronics think FOR him all of the time. When will he ever learn to take his time, think for himself and solve problems in his own unique way? It is no wonder that childhood flies by so fast these days and the children are missing it as it goes.

Low Effort / Low Quality Instruction / Learning Disability

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In the seven year old realm of RTI, there are three things that prevent 75% to 85% or the general education population from succeeding in the classroom.
Low Effort
Low Quality Instruction
Learning Disability

75% to 85% of my students entering 9th grade Algebra 1 (entry level math for high school) lack the following skills:
- lack of fluency in technical reading to orally present and decode a Math Word problem
- lack math facts necessary to identify number patterns (addition, multiplication, even/odd) necessary to move into higher level math and mental problem solving
- dependency on calculators to perform all math calculations
Prior to entering the ninth grade regular assessments are required for prerequisite skills and screenings for skills gaps. Technical reading below grade level and prerequisite math skills are not assessed/reported.

Our push to integrate technology without assessment of downstream impact is creating a new category of "learning disability".

Students can exert effort where skills are not present and recognized as prerequisite
Ineffective teaching in upstream classes is not present but is not assessed against prerequisites

So all that is left "according to the definition" is learning disabled.

If we are moving to a "tech based education" platform; drive the technology to develop these prerequisite skills.

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