January Blog – Gabriel Reec Biar: Are You Distracted by Technology?

TECHNOLOGY IS NOT NECESSARILY A DESTRUCTION TO LEARNING

No one in the current world will deny the fact that they are destructed by technology. I can proudly say that digital technology has not been very destructive to me because I care a lot more about what I came to do in the university, to learn! The reason I am not distracted by technology much is because I focus on my studies. For example, I use digital equipment like computers and projectors during class presentation. In fact technology is strengthening my writing and speaking abilities through the use of scientific resources on the web. However, computer has interfered with my sight because I spend a minimum of 6 hours per day on computer. I have paid a high price due to this in that I ended up with eye problems. It was troublesome for me each time my eyes shed tears when using the computer or mobile phone. This destruction of my sight forced me to seek medical attention. I was given progressive glasses for use to help me deal with this destruction that came alongside the wonders of the computer in my life.

As for the smartphone, I own one but I basically use it for making calls. Concerning texting, I always switch off my phone during class time. I only text and receive text messages when am out of class. For this reason, I do not find texting a problem to my learning. It is about exercising discipline.

Turning to the video games, I do not like them therefore I do not play them. This means an escape from their trap of destruction.

I am aware that digital technology can shorten one’s concentration span. However, it has not shortened my attention span. Rather, it has increased my attention span in such a way that I am able to spend time on the computer doing meaningful work like watching You-Tube videos for educational purposes. The videos help me to further understand the lessons I learn during lectures.

I get no destruction from the iPad or television because I have neither of these. This means they do not interfere with my learning at all. The one thing that I cannot spend a day without looking at is Facebook, especially during my school time. I do web surfing a lot by visiting Facebook. I also use it as much as I use email because in most cases, I receive messages from my relatives either back at home or from abroad.

Wikipedia, an internet based encyclopedia, comes in handy to me while working on my assignments that are given by the lecturers. I use it to supplement what I read from books. The fact that I combine these two sources makes easy for me to get answers and I never miss answers I could be searching for at any given time.

I have learnt to keep things in perspective. I have never been moved to the point of believing what I see on the screen as being more important than the reality.

My other main benefits from technology include the achievement of top grade A in Epidemiology. This came after I downloaded and watched video tutorials by Prof. Leon Gordis of John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, titled, “Science in the Court Room”. This lecture was given to judicial officers and captured live on Federal Judicial Television Network. The video complemented what I got from my lecturer at school. Other subjects which I improved using you tube videos included demography, medical microbiology, medical parasitology, human anatomy and physiology, biochemistry and many others. My learning is not narrowed only to modules outlined in my course outline. I learned a lot of other important things from YouTube videos. My main interest has been in nutrition which I have practiced in the field for eight years. I watched many videos on nutrition, which of late, has led to a change in my eating habits. Some of the videos I watched are from California University Television. In one of the videos, Robert H. Lustig, a Prof of Pediatrics, said sugar is a bitter truth and an elephant in the kitchen. Because of this awareness, I have reduced the consumption of sugar and that means better health for me.. I also watched videos of John Taylor Gatto, where he talked about The Guerrilla Curriculum. By this he meant that students should learn by experience instead of traditional theoretical system applied at school. I got interested in his ideologies because he seemed to discover important ways of learning.

Other major areas I have improved are statistical analysis and computer proficiency which are very important to my research work. I came across some excel videos that were uploaded by some excel expert (Michael Gel Girvin) from U.S. He used excel to conduct statistical data analysis. I followed his footsteps.

Instead of distracting me from doing my homework, digital technology has made school life enjoyable. I am using technological skills to do my homework with ease. The Internet reduces the time I spend on doing assignments and sending them to lecturers.

 

It is evident from what I have mentioned that digital technology is more beneficial to my educational development than a distraction. This development encourages me to supplement my studies by watching more lectures that are either related to my course work or that are important in expanding my knowledge base. I find this learning a new reality. It makes the use of technology more meaningful to me as long as I use it with care.

Although the use of technology has been a distraction to many, technology is not necessarily destruction. It is of great benefit to my career development. I wonder what I would otherwise have done in my coursework without technology. I count myself lucky to have discovered the need of using modern technology to my advantage.

 

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