Recent articles about the state of education in schools today, including in The Jewish Standard’s Sept 30 edition, seem to suggest the equation that more technology equals better education. Technology can be a powerful tool to enhance the educational process. Yet I find this constant focus on technology, to the exclusion of other educational tools, to be troubling. All the technology in the world won’t magically transform a bad teacher into a good one. For a good teacher, technology is the icing on the cake, not the main dish.
However, there is a deeper issue here. Our children are overly inundated with technology and find themselves unable to ever “disconnect.” Ten years ago, one could walk through the halls of a high school and see students talking to each other. Now one sees them walking around staring at their Blackberries or iPhones as they text each other. The disastrous phenomenon of youths texting on Shabbat is, at the very least in part, an outgrowth of the societal inability to ever turn off technology.
Schools should be more focused on teaching children how to think and communicate without always having to have some electronic device in their hands for them to be able to do so. Our communities’ fixation on constantly bringing technology into the classroom is exacerbating the societal ill that schools ought to be combating.