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Is Technology Making Us Smarter or Dumber?

Technology is making us smarter because technology has opened up an era of


great opportunities. Technology becomes very handy when it comes to searching for
information (Deb, 2014). This can be done through information and communications
technology (ICT). Probably the greatest impact of ICT is the huge improvement in
access to information and knowledge that has associated with Internet growth. With
internet access followed by just a click on a mouse, one can acquire all information
from all parts of the world and learn new things without having to read from lines and
paragraphs in books like the traditional way. All sorts of facts and opinions can be
found within seconds in a click. This benefits students and academicians in their
researches and projects as they can gain quicker access to all sorts of information they
need (Kozma, 2003). Besides, the increased access to internet also brought better and
cheaper way of communication, namely Instant Messaging and Skype (McFarlane,
2014). ICT also brought new ways for entertainment, to make contact and generate
relationships with people throughout the world through social media like Facebook,
Instagram and Twitter (Abdulahi et al., 2014). In business aspects, businessmen are
now able to acquire goods and services from a broader range of suppliers from all
parts of the world. Beyond the increased flow of goods, globalization through the use
of technology has corresponded to driving productivity and global economic growth
(Kozma, 2005). Theses advancements in technology made human smarter in many
ways.
Another significant outcome from the advancement of technology is the
changing into a smarter way of managing business. The advances in technology,
particularly information technology (IT), have impacted commercial businesses in
many aspects. One of the most vital roles of information technology in the business

field is to provide competitive advantages. Advances such as computerization,


spreadsheets, computer database technologies and word processing software give
competitive advantage to businesses; same applies to the automation of manufacturing
processes in factories and plants. These advancements in technology help business to
function in a more effective and efficient way at a much lower cost (Brynjolfsson &
Hitt, 2000). In the current business environment which is so competitive, the use of IT
could lead to additional advantages. Strategic positioning between IT and business
policies provides competitive advantage and plays a vital part in the performance of
an organization. Strategic alignment of technology and business policies has proved to
improve and enhance overall efficacy of an organization, get the most profit out of
investments, improve on managing business needs and technology while offering
company stability (Jorfi et al., 2011). Monitoring a business performance by applying
information technology enables the business to emphasize on areas where they have
not been fully utilizing and optimizing their resources. Application of information
technology also helps to increase net income of a business through posting
advertisements and promotions in various platforms online, reaching greater audience
in a faster, easier and cheaper way (Deb, 2014).
In addition, advances in technology enhanced and improved teaching by
complementing the traditional classroom method. Studies have proven that
technology has positive educational impact on students from as young as kindergarten
age. With technology, students are more quickly attracted and enthralled in the more
engaging materials and thus information and knowledge can be absorbed faster
(Amiri, 2012). Nowadays, electronic materials appear to be more interesting and
interactive for children. This is due to the fact that technology facilitates and delivers
knowledge through simulations and three-dimensional models which are much more

interesting than conventional teaching materials such as story books and flash cards.
The use of computer has made a transformation in the traditional concepts and
methods of delivering knowledge through education (Collins & Halverson, 2010).
Children nowadays learn in a whole new way with the aid of technology. Children can
view animated solar system, look at three-dimensional human body models, and learn
through games which are user interactive. The proper mix of technology in modern
education benefits the children. By using modern technology, children pick up new
knowledge and skills at amazing speeds (Hatch, 2011). Moreover, technology
prepares students for the future workforce at young age. This has become a vital skill
because technology has become so connected to us and inseparable from our society
(Molavi & Satterlee, 2014). In the workforce, technology had become a necessity for
many jobs offering higher pay. Thus, exposing children to modern technologies earlier
helps them to become more skilled and to be on par with the rapid changing digital
age, keeping them ahead in the technology skills they might be needing in the future
work place (Collins & Halverson, 2010).
In special education, using assistive technology to help disabled students has
become increasingly popular. This is because technology helps in addressing the
special needs of each individual learner (Chambers, 2011). Based on the results from
research done by Balmeo et al. (2014), results showed that teachers offering special
education agree with the fact that technology is an effective assistant in teaching
students with disabilities, not only in software form but also in hardware form.
Whiteboard appeared to be one of the most useful technologies in teaching students
with special learning needs, followed by multimedia software and electronic
dictionary. Besides, devices have been invented to meet special needs of disabled
students. For example, DynaMyte is a portable communication device with a

keyboard equipped with different symbols which helps students with communicative
disabilities to communicate with others. It has been estimated that nearly 95% of
disabled students have the opportunity to get their education in regular classrooms
with the help of these innovations (Hatch, 2011). Alfaraj & Kuyini (2014) pointed out
that technology has equalized the opportunities for children with disabilities to learn
like normal individuals. The integration of technology in special education has
positive results on students self-motivation, attitude, self-confidence, achievement,
and peer interactions. Technology makes education a reality for all children with
disabilities in developing countries. In special education, most of the disabled students
have limitations towards direct first-hand experience as a part of learning. However,
with the aid of technology, experiential learning can take place. With the aid of
technology such as three-dimensional learning with multi-sensory experience,
children with special learning needs will be able to gain a more direct and concrete
scenario of what is learned inside the classroom although they could not experience
them in the outdoors. Thus, the process of teaching and learning in the classroom of
children with special needs could be well transformed through the integration of
technology (Hasselbring & Glaser, 2000). This offers an equal chance for the disabled
to gain a chance in this competitive world.
In conclusion, technology has made human smarter in many different ways.
The presence of technology helps us to march into a greater era of modernized
society.

References
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