SEATTLE — The definition of education is “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge.” The worldwide goal of education is to cradle the creativity of every child, not to simply standardize education by bringing technology to the classroom.
In the process of the technological revolution, school boards brought technology to the classroom and with that change, they also brought a heavier focus on math, science and computer science. These three courses were prioritized throughout the education system. Second-tier courses were those that would ease the future process of obtaining a job, including history, political science, English and foreign languages.
Unfortunately, the arts, such as music, drama, art and dance, were defunded in many schools throughout the country due to budget cuts and the cost associated with bringing technology to the classroom. According to a 2012 longitudinal study funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, “students with exposure to arts programs do better academically and socially.”
Students who study the arts, along with their other courses, have a more well-rounded perspective and approach to their education and future careers. This well-rounded outlook and more knowledgeable mindset give the students more self-esteem, which allows them to feel more connected to the community and stay away from any type of illegal activity.
The developing world plays a large world in the education of impoverished countries. This role holds much responsibility for not only the fate of the next generation, but also for the country’s future development.
Uplifting photos of small children holding NGO-donated computers or iPads in classrooms can be seen across the internet illustrating improvements in education worldwide. However, what most people don’t know is that when NGOs bring impoverished areas technology to the classrooms, other more traditional learning techniques and courses are stopped.
On the positive side, technology tends to attract higher attendance. Professional, technological skills are added to the curriculum, but more often times than not these skills are typically only needed in the cities. Throughout the rural areas of these countries, learning a trade may still be more monetarily effective.
Many education experts believe the negative aspects of technology far outweigh the benefits. According to University of Southern Maine communications professor Maureen Ebben, “Many students mistakenly believe that technology allows them to do several things at once and do them well.” In the end, technology becomes more of a distraction than a tool.
In the developing world, the establishment of the fundamentals of core subjects are vital, and standardizing education via technology hinders creativity, talents and/or trades kids might inherently possess. This process of standardization often leaves the arts to fall at the wayside.
The developed world should not only be focused on the spread of technology throughout the developing world; Instead, NGOs should focus on nourishing the children’s fundamental education, foreign language skills, trade skills, sexual education and other necessary skills for life.
Education is the process of imparting general knowledge while bolstering the child’s self-esteem, not simply grouping all children together and standardizing their education. Although technology is a beneficial resource in many scenarios, the tech revolution may need to leave the education industry in order for students to get the versatility they truly need.
– Danielle Preskitt