The word 'technology' is often associated with ideologies about the future and the advancement of society. Although this statement may be true to a limited extent in that technology is about foreseeing the future, technology and advancements in technology are also largely about the present. For example, younger generations are now more skilled in the use of Internet as well as there being an increase in the popularity of computer games. Hence, although there are some negative impacts associated with spending too much time on the Internet and using the Internet as a primary source of research, the present level of encouragement for using technology in schools has helped us as a society prepare for the demands of the future.
Firstly, in an extract from a survey about Internet and schools, it was found that a "recent informal census conducted via voluntary reporting over the Internet estimates the number of teachers and students (individual and classroom accounts) in the U.S. using the Internet, either directly or indirectly, at almost 250,000." (Parker, 1992, p 22-24). Hence, the increased usage in Internet services has ensured that school-aged children are better adapted to meet the challenges of technology. Although use of the Internet has increased due to both growth in research and uses for entertainment purposes, there are some negative impacts associated with school-age children relying on the Internet as their primary source of research.
Becoming over reliant on the Internet for research due to the level of convenience may result in a lesser range of reference materials used for essays and academic arguments. Also, it creates a bias in terms of the amount of information found. For example, authors in societies that do not have access to the Internet may be marginalized due to the lack of this skill. Also, most Internet sites usually have advertising, and this may cause distractions to the student's concentration. Therefore, though it can be argued that the Internet has provided access to a larger range of resources and has ensured that communication is a lot more effective, it can become ineffective if people become too reliant on this source of information as their main medium for communication.
The debates involving the Internet are extremely contentious, depending upon the various views and interpretations of different members of society. However, one thing is certain, and that is today's generation are better able to adapt to the changes and demands of technology. For example, Washington Reuters stated that "nearly one-third of American Internet users surveyed said they go online just for fun rather than to check e-mail, read News, or use a search engine, a sharp increase from a year ago," (Reuters, 2006, p 1). Hence, this means that as a society, although there has been an increase in software engineering of games and programs, society has kept up in terms of spending time on the computer in order to use these software and programs.
In conclusion, today's generation has an increased ability to enjoy the benefits of technology and Internet due to the increased usage and reliance on technology. Although the issue is still debatable, as negative effects such as over-reliance on the Internet can affect the functioning of society, benefits also exist, and when used appropriately the Internet can ensure a higher standard of lifestyle.
California Department of Education, Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, California Education and Data Processing Association, "California Student Information System: A Study of the Feasibility of Implementing a Statewide Process for Electronically Sharing Student Information," Sacramento, CA.: California Department of Education, October 1992.
LaQuey, Tracy and Connie Stout, "High Tech Highway," America's Agenda: Schools for the 21st Century, pp. 26-30. New York, NY: Scholastic, Spring 1993.
LaQuey, Tracy, with Jeanne C. Ryer, The Internet Companion. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1993.
Lipinski, Michael (1998) 'Some thoughts on the use of the Internet in schools.' http://www.fi.edu/fellows/fellow3/oct98/ (Accessed: 16th February, 2006).
Parker, Tracy LaQuey, "Cisco Routers Contribute to the Global Schoolhouse Project," The Packet, pp. 22-24. Mountain View, CA.: Cisco Systems, Inc., Fall 1993.
Parker, Tracy LaQuey, "The Internet - K12 Connection: How Students and Teachers Are Using The Internet," ConneXions: The Interoperability Report. Foster City, CA.: Interop, Inc. April 1994.
Washington Reuters (2006) Thirty pct Internet users go online just for fun, http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=InternetNews&storyID=2006-02-15T233907Z_01_N15241681_RTRUKOC_0_US-INTERNET-CONSUMERS.xml (Accessed; 17th February, 2006).
Weston, Rachel, "Networks: Where Have You Been All My Life?" Proceedings, Connecting with the Future Today: NASA and the Center for Educational Statistics, February 1994.