Ethnographic Notes C – Digital Nation or Kids Online

Digital Classroom

Digital Classroom?


When computers were initially linked together to form what would eventually become the Internet. What you saw on the screen was basically a lot of text. As technology advanced the Internet became this cacophony of multimedia, social, and cultural experiences. At the same time devices became smaller and more mobile allowing this technology to follow people from place to place. These changes are impacting the education system in profound and disturbing ways.

For example at MIT instructors are realizing that their students are constantly distracted by their devices. According to Sherry Turkle there is a bit of competition for the students attention. A professor at MIT named David Jones thinks that they students are not doing as well as they should. In Standford there is a program run by Clifford Nass to test how capable people are of multitasking. According to Mr. Nass we are bad at multitasking. This could be affecting how effective people are and might even been adversely affecting the ability to learn.


The digital age has changed how teachers educate their students.  Some schools have decided to embrace the digital age and have students using computers to do their homework and their school work at school. They have utilized computers as a tool for students to do research and do most of their learning online with the teachers guiding them in the right direction.  While some schools refuse to change the way they have been teaching and refuse to use computers even though the world has been changing into more of a digital age.  Books have been replaced with tablets and E-readers. Teachers are monitoring what the children are doing online and have even made sure to look into their students computers to make sure they know what they are doing.   They do this to keep kids on track.

But what is the right way? School with technology and computers or school without?  There is no right or wrong way because we don’t know what the benefits or downsides to both yet.  One question to be asked about technology being used in school is could this actually be hurting us?



The constant advancements being made in technology is progressing more quickly than researchers are able to track the outcome of how it is affecting the human mind. There is a lot of controversy as to whether the internet’s positive attributes are outweighed by the negative ones. Americans as well as many other citizens in the world are dependent on technology in numerous ways. It has become apparent in many situations that that teachers and professors have to adapt their teaching methods to accommodate the age of the internet in order to keep students on task. Teachers also recognize that technology is an integral aspect of society and that technology is a necessary part of modern day living. The long term impacts of constantly being “connected” whether it’s twitter, facebook, gmail, google, etc., is unforeseen in many ways.

The fact that brain scans show that more activity is taking place when a person “googles” versus when they are reading a book does not necessarily indicate that the brain is receiving greater of even equivalent benefits when surfing the web. If most students aren’t taking the time to read books because they don’t have time or they can access the condensed version online, there could be significant effects on the way that the human brain functions in future generations.

brain on the internet versus brain while reading


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