Coming from a high school student, My abilities have gone downhill ever since schools started making technology use mandatory. At first, I was very much against using my calculator to solve equations or my laptop to write an assignment. However, I became more dependent and I soon noticed that I began to struggle with even the basics of things, Which I excelled at when I was younger (and not using technology). Memory-wise, It is beginning to become difficult to remember new formulas, Assignment scaffolds, Etc. And don't get me started on reading and writing. Spelling checks and auto-correct have made it too easy for students to identify errors; however, If we were to look for mistakes on a printed copy of an essay, We would be stuck.
People are losing skills to it's ease of use. A calculator can be a God-send when working a complicated calculus problem in less than 15 hours (note:yes it's hyperbole!) to use it for everyday math erodes the ability to go without. There are kids working in retail positions, (not just fast food) that are unable to count back change in a transaction without the cash register telling them how much. Spell check, while a nice to have, begins to make the ability to spell unnecessary which could eventually lead to an inability to read at all. If you don't know what words the letters C A T and H A T make, how will you ever learn to appreciate the joy that is Dr. Seuss? I have caught myself just in writing this on my desktop computer not using proper punctuation because I've become accustomed to my phone doing it for me. So yes. Even though it is in many ways a good thing, I believe we can become dependent on these devices and over time lose our abilities and skills.
I'll speak from personal experience and conversations I've had with others. Technology is killing our concentration and making us more clumsy. We can't focus for long periods of time anymore, and our hands are so acclimated to screens and buttons, that they don't function as well anymore. This isn't good.
Its just in our nature to do things an easier way. We have shrived to always make life simpler and in turn it makes us less skilled in things that have become less useful. If I was asked to start a fire by hand I would have no clue how to do it, ten thousand years ago I would have died,its all relative at that point in time. I guess long story short, technology helps us in the long run,but hurts us in overall skill base knowledge.
It is my understanding that most schools in today's society are now using Ipad's instead of notebook paper for homework. At what point will the children stop learning to write? At what point will they forget how to hold a pencil or pen correctly? Using Ipad's to take over all the schools teachings along the line of homework will only hinder a child. It will develop a domino effect to the point that paper will become extinct. The post office has already suffered from online mailing and I can only imagine what my childs future will be like without the ability of writing. They wont even know how to write a letter, or mail it through the system with a stamp. I don't agree with this technology advancement in the least. To me, it is retarding our children, our society and our world.
No, having more technological devises does not weaken people's skills and abilities, because technological devices only help people communicate more efficiently, rather than to prevent them from communicating at all. Technology makes things easier, so that you don't have to have contact with someone for information that you can look up as easily online.
Technological devices, such as smartphones, tablets and computers, have served a purpose in creating new knowledge bases (writing code, designing graphic interfaces, learning how to research subjects on the internet) for engineering wizards and the general public alike. While certain forms of communication, such as hand-written letters and long-form articles are falling by the wayside, we are learning to communicate effectively and efficiently via text message, Twitter, e-mail and Facebook posts.