University of Maryland University College
MODERN TECHNOLOGY AND THE USE OF ELECTRONICS
Modern technology and the use of electronics, especially computers have changed drastically over the last century. While many feel that there is a major advantage for the frequent use of computers, especially for the youth; there are some who oppose the constant use of them and feel as though they can be a bit of a downfall to the learning process overall. While we may all have our personal opinions on how computers impact the youth on writing and also reading. Clive Thompson and David Gelernter, who are both authors have strong opinions on how computers effect students. While Clive feels as though the use of computers encourage the youth to read and write more; David does not agree with the constant use of technology. Both authors have made very strong and valid points on the topic. Clive Thompson, who is a science and technology writer for the New York Times Magazine feels that since computers, text messaging and different social sites have come available to everyone, it offers kids the opportunity to write more. In this generation kids are constantly texting one another and engaging in various social networks, compared to older generations who only wrote when it was required for them to do so. He makes points by explaining that social media and status updates encourages kids to write more to their audience explaining their daily tweets and online blogs. On this topic, Thompson discusses a lot of research by Professor Andrea Lunsford and finds himself agreeing with her studies; stating that, “ I think we’re in midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven’t seen since Greek civilization,” she says. A lot of socializing starts online and sometimes involves texting, status updates and blogging. It’s giving the young people the ability to express themselves more through their writing, where they effortlessly communicate back and forth with their peers. Clive Thompson makes a great point by explaining how computers effect the young generation into writing to their peers and not just their professor for an assignment. In conclusion, he agrees with Lunsford, stating that,” Technology isn’t killing our ability to write. It’s reviving it and pushing our literacy in bold new directions.” David Gelernter, who received his undergraduate degree from Yale University in classical Hebrew literature and is a professor of computer science at Yale; feels exactly the opposite. Unlike Thompson, he feels that computers should be in the schools and could help accomplish great things in subjects that he feel are being neglected as art and music. The difference is that Gelernter feels as though, “Computers make our worst educational nightmares come true,” he says. He makes a point on how the software on computers computes auto-spelling and also arithmetic. He explains that multimedia blinded students from the fundamentals of actually reading a book, and understanding what the author is conveying to the audience. David explains his theory on his conditions on how a computer should be used. First he states that there should be a new software for children that ignites the child’s imagination to get them to become more involved. Second, he wants to limit the use of computers for only recess and relaxation periods, for the purpose of kids not becoming dependent on it. Most important, he feels like educators should learn what parents and teachers already know: you cannot teach a child anything unless you look him in the face. “The computer’s potential to do good is modestly greater than a book’s in some areas. It’s potential to do harm is vastly greater, across the board.” The two authors have stated strong opinions about their beliefs on computers, and how they affect the younger generation. The similarities the share, is that computers do offer different opportunities to help them both academically and socially, but we should not ignore that the basics is what students need to be successful and not a short cut.
Thompson, Clive. (2002-2003). The New Literacy.
Gelernter, David. (1994). Computers cannot teach Children Basic Skills. New Republic. Kennedy,X.J., Kennedy, D.M., Muth, M.F. (2011). The Beford Guide For College Writers