Should Schools Add More Technology Into the Classroom?
Debate Rounds (4)
 Teacher Training
Many school systems are already introducing technology to the classrooms. Looking at one school in particular, Owensboro Public Schools in Owensboro, Kentucky, they have introduced MacBook Airs™ to the student body. Students can either pay a $50 fee and take the laptops home, or they can be "day-users" in which the laptops are left at the school overnight. This technology was introduced three years ago, and classroom attention has only gotten worse. Students bypass proxy and firewall servers and spend their time either e-mailing, watching movies, listening to music, or playing games.
This problem has caused an increase in spyware and restrictions on the laptop usage, which is now interfering with the teaching method used with the laptops. Websites often used by teachers for their students are blocked by the proxy servers. A specific incident was with the website "turnitin.com" in which the proxy protection prevented students from properly accessing the interface.
Throughout the decades we have been developing technology further and further, but for what purpose? Have we come all this way just to throw it all away and start again? No, we haven't. How come we've been striving so hard to create a simpler environment for ourselves? How come we further this method while neglecting the consequences to them? How come we WANT a this? It's simple, we're curious. It's in the nature of all creatures.
Like Pandora's box, we simply can't ignore the fact that something is there waiting to be discovered. And like the Pandora's box, many disapproved actions and thoughts are let out during the process. However, we survive these criticized methods and create new ideas to counter them.
Advancing technology further starts with the younger generation. In order to pass the curiosity of the old onward, we must survive on the minds of the new. Using and adding more technology gives the young a new chance to do what the old could not. No one has to enhance these technological developments, but in doing so, we acquire an imaginative mind and a creative hand. Our mental aspects will rise as our physical state is motivated to keep up. We CAN keep our actions in tact and live a healthy life as long as we WANT to and thanks to the citizens of the critic population, most people DO want to stay active and look good. So, if you're worried about the physical rates throughout the world, thank yourself and everyone else who judges others based on appearances which is most everyone in the world.
Giving schools more technology not only sparks a creative mind, but it also gives our old generation something to smile at. Other times they might want to slap us, but hey, we're only human.
Productivity is hampered by procrastination, and technology only allows this to be easier. We use complex computers to play 32-bit flash games. Technology is used well below its potential and capabilities. Smartphones are used for texting, music, and cheaply coded games. How can we blindly underuse a technology that would of been worth trillions a few decades ago.
As well as simple procrastination, cybercrime is a rising department that is growing harder and harder to handle. Under US Code 18 Section 875 Title C, any form of interstate commerce that involves a threat to kidnap or injure an individual can be fined by the title and/or result in imprisonment for no more than twenty years. In the case of Elonis Vs. US, Anthony Elonis was prosecuted for posting a section of rap lyrics to social media, involving threats to kill his estranged wife, shoot up an elementary school, and attack a FBI agent. It was ruled that the intention does not come into consideration when the threat is clearly present.
Cyberstalking is also a very serious and rising crime. In 2011, a 12-year-old girl in Washington, who has remained unnamed, was charged with Cyberstalking and Computer Trespassing First Degree, after her and an 11-year-old girl hacked into the victim's Facebook account and posted solicitations for sex and explicit photographs. These were children who, with the intention to do harm to the victim, were able to successfully gain information for the victim's login and doctor these photographs. As my opponent stated when he referenced Pandora's Box, there are severe negativities with our younger generations being exposed to technology.
If schools only further this introduction to technology, and even adapt classrooms for it, we will only further educate these children on the aspects of hacking, coding, and even anonymous browsing. Blackhat hackers, or criminal hackers, have the full potential to remotely access a commonly used remote PaceMaker and cause it to overpower, killing the victim.
The first telephones came out around 1876, invented by Alexander Gram Bell. The popularity of this new communication device spread like wildfire. What would have taken weeks or months to send a letter could now be sent through electrical wires immediately. To make things even better, Bell was then inspired to create the "Photophone" in 1880. This device transmitted sound on beams of light instead of wires. There was a flaw, however. Whenever it rained, communication was not possible.
Continuing the wireless communication track, Guglielmo Marconi developed, marketed, and demonstrated the first long-distance wireless telegraph and in 1901, he broadcasted the first transatlantic radio signal. This new development in technology ended the isolation of sea travel and SAVED HUNDREDS OF LIVES, including the surviving passengers from the Titanic.
Today, we have smartphones and other wireless technology much more advanced than back then, but the reason we have these advancements are because of the ideas and inventions from before. Giving students the technology of todays time gives tomorrow a chance for new developments and ideas.
My opponent states that we have all this technology, but we use it to throw birds at pigs instead of using it's full potential. Then he goes on explaining about the evil and stupid misuses of technology. Isn't this a bit contradictory? If you're worried about hackers and other misusers of the internet, wouldn't it be better if we delay the "full potential" of these devices and stick to the "birds and pigs" concept? We've created these devices to make life easier and more efficient, but also to give us enjoyment out of life. This entertainment allows us to further technology, but in a less risk-taking state. I'm not saying that there isn't anything wrong with these games (Killing games, the flappy bird incident in 2014, etc), but isn't it better than using the "Computers more powerful than those that maned the Moon Landing" to destroy humanity? You say we're training hackers, but how? Have we taught them how to hack? Are we teaching them? We aren't educating students to become killers, what they want is what they want and they intend to get it somehow or another.
This goes back to the "birds and pigs" concept. Let me ask you this. What do students want? Do they want to destroy the world? Not usually (I mean yeah, we do sometimes when we're having a bad day, but it's not really actually possible with the proxies and all. If we try and break the proxy, the administrators will know and take our technology away and lecture us. We don't want to have our enjoyment taken away, so we don't do it). What we students want is enjoyment out of the classroom. What's more entertaining? A class lecture or a video game? A video game... usually (if it's an 8-bit pixel game we might stick to the lecture). If we're being forced to learn, can't we have just a bit of enjoyment in return? Yes we have sports, but what's the fun of sitting on a bench while everyone else gets to play except you? It just isn't fun anymore when you're left out.
Also, what hurts more? Being called a "noob" when being killed over and over again in a multiplayer game, or getting slugged in the face? Actually, we would probably get more angry at being called a noob. It's stupid, but it's kind of true. Getting mentally slugged usually hurts more than a physical slug. Your bleeding on the outside? It's ok, here's a band-aid! It's not that simple with mental cuts. Let me ask you another question? What do we value most? Our pride. Like my opponent states, cyber bullying/cyberstalking is a danger and can cause harm to many different people. But it's also completely different than physically stalking to bullying someone. Ever heard the term "sticks and stones will break my bones, but your words will never hurt me?" Most of us have and it's actually mostly untrue. Even if we pretend to pay the harsh words of others no attention, we have them lingering somewhere in the bottom of our conscience. "You're stupid." "Get out of here noob." "Weirdo." Although these harmful comments are like a slug to the gut, but let me ask you another question. What would hurt more, being told this through a screen, or face to face? Although cyber bullying is extremely harmful in some cases and gets the word out, it's not that bad compared to being told it physically.
We can say anything to anyone internet wise. Ever heard of internet trolls? They're usually found at the bottom of youtube in the comments section. Ever see the long line of defense comments? Yeah, you probably have sometime or another. This negative communication really strikes the hearts of people who feel positive towards a certain youtube channel and they automatically defend what they find as good and entertaining. Being able to do this gives us more confidence in standing up for what we think is right, just by writing a simple argument or letting off some steam. If we didn't have the internet or communication devices we have today, this site wouldn't exist and I probably wouldn't be able to think this in-depth about the current information.
Typing is another form of communication. It's similar to writing, but this way you can actually see it if you have bad hand writing. Other than that, it also allows us to think about matters in a deeper sense of mind than stumbling around with our words in a physical discussion. Because of this, I can think, change, and rewrite as I please. I think my favorite key is the backspace button (gotta love that backspace button).
Also, my opponent states that we can kill people just by overpowering a Pacemaker. I hate to say it but it's true. But why can't we just shoot someone with a gun or stab them with a knife like in C.O.D.? We're scared. We hide behind screens and tablets because we're to terrified of the outside world. Why? It judges us and ranks us by race and looks. If you don't look good, you're put aside. If you're black in a white society, you're discriminated against. Technology is something we need to communicate our feelings. It's even terrifying sometimes to go face to face with the world and say "Hi" sometimes. To be able to communicate to each other sometimes we do need this technology because we're to afraid to say it out loud. What would be more embarrassing? Getting shot down after confessing your love in front of people, or simply getting shot down in a text? We're scared. I guess you could call technology the universal teddy bear of today.
Getting mentally hurt physically really hurts us. But guess what? Because of this, getting praised physically makes it worth more. Our world today is surrounded by people who want to play the hero. We protect our ideas and concepts and band together with those with the same interest. Even those who have objectives that are seen as unjust by the general public usually have a just action in mind. One of the best quality of human nature is our instinct to do what is right. Hackers, cyber bullies, even technological killers have a huge road block in front of them: the human race, meaning themselves as well. We set out to do what is right and protect what we see as important. And if we decide to throw birds at pigs instead of killing real, living people, what's wrong with that?
My opponent also refers to my statement on the potential of our technology, but they simply only put my point into perspective: "should we allow the potential to be used, opening doors to good but also horrible behavior, or should we waste millions of dollars in development of supercomputers that we use to play flash games on?" Although the potential of technology has its dreadful aspects, there is also an ongoing list of pros. Medical advances, scientific discovery, communications, economic structure, and overall education! Why risk human error in surgery when we can program a robot to do it without flaw? Why have stock brokers when we can program ATM's to distribute stocks and payments? Why have teachers when we can simply create videos and e-learning plans? Because they're all flawed. Robots can malfunction, ATM's can be compromised, and videos deprive students of individual learning.
The issue of entertainment can be explained by the simple functions of an addiction. When you succeed in a game, you get a nice shot of dopamine in your brain. So, in response, you want to play more. As you play you get more and more shots of dopamine, but eventually your brain is used to this spike and you lose your "high." When you crash and can't get enjoyment out of a game anymore, do you pay attention to the lesson? No! Your brain is craving that dopamine high again and we get bored. so you look for a new game to play. Like an addiction, you have to stop this by cutting off the source of dopamine.
My opponent has also made a contradiction, however. He brings up that face-to-face bullying is more effective, but also mentions that we are too scared to face the real world. Behind a screen, nobody knows who you truly are or how you work. There is no body language to be read. This means someone who is cyberbullying can easily be as ruthless as they want, and deal with any guilt or remorse on their own. Face-to-face bullying can also be easily intervened, while cyberbullying is often in a private setting with no witnesses. How is it any better to have a stalker who can contact you at any time because of the phone in your pocket?
I believe my point is valid in saying that we use entertainment as a safe line between humans and machines, however, my opponent states that my point gives his view in perspective. In a way, he's right. However, that's only because this perspective is given as a question. This point of view asks us if we should advance in technology in risk of disaster or if we should spend millions of dollars on entertainment. Really, this isn't his perspective, it's ours. We're both answering the same question, but on different fronts.
On another note, my opponent gives many positive traits towards technology, but then shuts them down and declares them as flawed. He's right. However, I do believe that this gives me a bit of a heading in my own perspective. I believe that delaying the advancement of complicated mechanics gives reason to influence entertainment. By halting the process of expanding the range of what machines can do to replace human actions, we allow humans to work along side with them.
Let me ask you a question. Can we humans destroy buildings or fight giants with our own power and not with machines? What I'm describing is what you could possibly do in a video game. These entertainments broaden our view on specific things and gives us an imagination. What we can't do in the real world is what we CAN do in the virtual one. We work along with technology and it's addicting methods to do what we can't. Even if it's not in the world of video games, technology works with humans to create a more efficient solution. Can one or two men lift 10 huge iron pipes at once? No, but a crane can. Can a crane automatically connect the pipes to it's hook? No, a human has to tie them together then connect it to the crane. We secure the needs of technology as it secures the wants of us. We don't NEED technology, but it does need us. We are the brain of the two. You can have a brain, but not be able to move and still live. However, you can't live without a brain.
Addicting games are a problem in most societies, however, why is it addicting? My opponent discusses with you about dopamine and is right on the point of it. We want more. What do we want more of? One word: entertainment. Life gets boring after the same repetitive simulations over and over again, right? So, in our point of view, we want to change it up and let some dopamine bump against our neurons, creating a shot of happiness. However, if this is true (it is), isn't trying to cut off the source of dopamine exactly like taking away the natural effects of the brain? Also, how do video games become boring in the first place if they're meant specifically for entertainment? The answer is desensitization. This process consists of the dopamine signal turning off. As addicts start to have more and more of this "happiness," their brain starts to remove the dopamine receptors which receive all the little dopamine molecules, making the "happiness" signal weaker. As time goes by, the addict gets the same amount of dopamine, but in a longer time period than before with a much larger intake, therefore giving less and less happiness each time.
With other games such as "Candy Crush" or "Clash of Clans," the game creators monitor or stabilize the amount of dopamine reception at it's max potential by forcing you to take a break if you lose too many lives or if you're training your army. This creates a more rewarding satisfaction when you are able to play it again. This situation relates to the Hedonic Treadmill which states that as the user's situation changes, their expectations for happiness change as well. While playing these games, you never play so much as to grow accustomed to the elevated happiness. Therefor, you are always wanting to play more.
Studies show that people prone to addiction tend to be motivated risk takers and highly driven with a higher I.Q. and leadership potential.
Due to these facts, wouldn't taking away laptops and games ENFORCE the idea of addiction? If you have the ability to play a certain game, you'll want to and probably will. However, if you don't have the components you need, you'll most likely want to play it even more. Why? It's all because you want something that you don't have. If we do not implement more technology into the students lives, they'll just want it even more, creating a bigger addiction to the unknown technology even though they haven't witnessed it yet. Once obtained, the shot of dopamine with flow through the neurons of the brain and create the "happiness" effect. Then, after time goes on, the effect wears off, leaving us without the happiness once again.
What I believe should happen is that students should be introduced to new technology each year, replacing the other in the previous year. For example, I love apples, but I got bored of them for a while because I kept eating them over and over again. For about a year I quit eating apples all together and started eating different foods. When I finally got back to eating apples, I got a shot of dopamine from my neurons, giving me a blast of happiness, so I started to eat them again till the next time I got bored of them. What should be happening in the schools is that we should have 1 major technological device through all years, but give a different one every other year, giving the students something to look forward to. This way, the students will enjoy their dopamine explosions as the schools implement more technology into their programs.
If you're worried about cyber bullying, or stalking, remember that all the technology is server-based. What ever happens on the laptops is received by the administrators. Even your mail can be detected from the server monitors. I guess you could say the administrators of the school are like the NSA of the world. If the technology implementation was implied among a client-based setting, where everyone has their own unique and private information, I would be concerned. However, since we are talking about a server-based implementation, the administrators will know about the Cyber-bullying/stalking between students and strangers from ip addresses and take the perpetrator to court if need be. Remember, we're arguing about the technology inside the school, not in the world. Also, if you're worried about the servers being disrupted by different internet connections, all information goes back to the server once it and the client are linked.
What my opponent is stating about cyber-bullying/stalking makes perfect sense if the topic was located around the whole world, but what we're arguing towards is merely about a server-based coding, and not a single user program.
On that note, let's start throwing those birds and preparing that dopamine to look forward to the new technology ahead!
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