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Technology in the Classroom: Its Abuses


Any educator considering new ways of using available technology should also evaluate the disadvantages and dangers to learning posed by electronic sources.


Electronic references and encyclopedia offer an easy way for students to copy and paste sections of text into a word-processing program, change the font and format, and pass the document off as their own. While plagiarism is an ethical issue that has always plagued classrooms, earlier students were forced to copy over or retype information from the source. This forced them to read over it and edit some of the lengthy and unnecessary parts; therefore, at least some degree of refining and filtering and therefore evaluating was going on. Lazy students would ask themselves, “Do I really need to recopy this part? It is not related to the topic.” With electronic sources, students need not even read what they are copying. No editing or interpreting process is taking place.

Possible remedies:

Economic differences in students

Teachers need to be aware of the assumptions they make about students’ access to technology. For example, a teacher may require students to hand in a type-written project, arguing that the school has computers available for students to use during lunch and after school. However, students without computers at home would still be at a disadvantage since they would have had less time to work on the project because of the required typing time at the school; furthermore, they would not have their parents at the school to help them and to encourage them. In addition, as teachers incorporate more use of the Internet into their homework assignments, they need to make sure that students without direct access at home have plenty of time to find alternative locations with access and to complete the assignment.

Possible remedies:

NAVIGATE Justina's Technology in Education Manifesto| Uses of Technology in the Classroom| List of History Links