The Double-Edged Sword Of Tech In Education

The Double-Edged Sword Of Tech In Education
Summary: As the role of technology in education is growing day by day, it's important to understand not only its advantages but also its disadvantages.

The Role Of EdTech Today, And In The Future

As technology becomes more and more ingrained in our lives, schools are having to grapple with how to best incorporate it into the educational experience. On the one hand, there are obvious benefits to using technology in the classroom [1]. It can help students learn in new and innovative ways, it can make learning more engaging and fun, and it can provide educators with valuable tools for assessing and teaching students! Need I say more?

There are also potential drawbacks to using technology in education. For example, students may become overly reliant on technology and lose important skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Additionally, there is a risk that technology can be used to spread misinformation or to promote unethical values. Jenny Judge says, "Technology is unruly. New innovations bring with them a host of unintended consequences, ranging from the troubling [2] to the downright depressing [3]. Social media makes us lonely [4]. Too much screen time makes teenagers fall behind their peers [5]. And at the more feeble end of the spectrum, many of us have walked into an obstacle while texting."

The Right Way To Use Technology In Education

It is important to carefully consider the specific goals of each individual classroom and to use technology in a way that is most effective for achieving the goals. However, there are some general tips that can be useful for educators when incorporating technology into their classrooms:

1. Be Thoughtful About The Types Of Technologies You Introduce Into Your Classroom

As educators, we're constantly faced with the challenge of how to use technology in a way that benefits our students. Technology can be an incredibly powerful tool for learning, but on the other hand, it can also be a source of distraction and confusion. So how do we harness the power of technology while avoiding its potential pitfalls?

One key point to remember is that technology should never be used as a substitute for good teaching [6]. Technology can help us to enhance our teaching, but it can't replace human interaction and engagement. It's important to use technology in a way that supports and enhances what you're already doing in the classroom, rather than trying to use it as a crutch. Another key point to keep in mind is that different students learn in different ways, and it's important to cater to all of their needs.

Some students prefer a more traditional learning environment, while others thrive in a more digital setting. Jennifer Groff elaborates: "How can today’s schools be transformed so as to become environments of teaching and learning that make individuals lifelong learners and prepare them for the 21st century? The response to this question...has produced a sampling of the rich array of new visions for education around the world [7]."

2. It's Important To Find A Balance That Works For Everyone

Not all technologies are created equal, and not all technologies are appropriate for use in the classroom. It is important to carefully select the technologies you introduce into your classroom and to make sure that they align with your educational goals.

3. Use Technology In A Way That Supports Student-Centered Learning

Technology should never be used to replace or supersede student-centered learning. In fact, technology can be a powerful tool for supporting student-centered learning. The rise of technology has caused a lot of changes in the educational field. The term "double-edged sword" has been used often to describe technology, as it can be both helpful and harmful to students.

Technology can help students learn more effectively. For example, online resources can provide students with more information than they would find in a textbook. In addition, computers can help students practice their writing skills by allowing them to edit their work and receive feedback from teachers and classmates. Additionally, online tools can be used to create presentations, conduct research, and collaborate with other students.

Potential drawbacks to using technology in education include the fact that students who rely too much on computers and other devices may not develop strong writing and critical thinking skills. Additionally, excessive use of screens can lead to health problems such as eye strain, obesity, and addiction.

While technology has many benefits, it is important to use it wisely in order to avoid its potential drawbacks. Teachers should carefully monitor students' use of technology and make sure they are using it for educational purposes rather than simply playing games or browsing the internet. By using technology responsibly, teachers can help students learn more effectively and prepare them for the future.

4. Use Technology In A Way That Is Age-Appropriate

Not all forms of technology are appropriate for all ages. It is important to use technology in a way that is appropriate for the age group you are teaching.

Melanie Pinola suggests, "As your children grow, so will their involvement with technology. Also, it's difficult to predict what the digital world will look like even just a few years from now. Your definition of healthy and unhealthy tech usage will need regular updates [8]." Younger students may benefit from using interactive software programs that help them learn basic skills such as math and reading, while older students may benefit from using more sophisticated technologies such as laptops and tablets.

5. Be Aware Of The Potential Risks Associated With Using Technology

As with anything, there are potential risks associated with using technology in the classroom. It is important to be aware of these risks and to take steps to mitigate them. You may want to consider using software that filters out inappropriate content or that limits students’ internet access during class time.

In Focus beautifully explains, "To be an informed critical thinker in the twenty-first century means to be a lifelong learner, the macro-competence that includes an attitude of humility and acceptance that we might be wrong. Another essential macro-competence to develop in this vein is multi-literateness, for, without truly mastering a domain, how can we ever be in a position to question it [9]?"

6. Use Technology In A Way That Supports Collaboration And Creativity

One of the great things about technology is that it can help students collaborate on projects in ways that were not possible before. Additionally, technology can help students become more creative in their thinking and approach problems in new and innovative ways.

Technology proves over and over again that it is a double-edged sword when it comes to its merging with education. Technology can be an amazing tool for enhancing student engagement and learning. Online platforms can allow students to collaborate and share ideas with classmates from around the world. Multimedia resources can make lessons more interactive and interesting, and digital tools can help students overcome challenges in their learning process.

7. Be Prepared To Adapt As Technologies Change

The world of technology is constantly changing, and it is important to be prepared to adapt as technologies change. This means being willing to experiment with new technologies and trying different approaches to see what works best for your students. Strive to keep up with the latest changes in technology and make sure students are using technology safely and responsibly, and be prepared to adapt as technologies change.

As educators, we are always modeling behaviors for our students. It is important to be a role model for responsible technology use, which includes being aware of the potential risks associated with using technology and taking steps to mitigate those risks. It is important to be respectful of others when using technology and to avoid behaviors such as cyberbullying.

Sherri Gordon highlights, "While cyberbullying can happen in a public digital space, like on social media posts, it can also take the form of private messages—leaving some kids managing this secret, and its effect on them, alone. Being aware of all of the effects of cyberbullying can not only help you support a child you know is affected but help you become more aware of signs that may be the reason for concern—and a conversation."

Considering students' needs in each classroom before making decisions about topics and tools is crucial. It’s quite easy to pick up on the vibes and struggles of students. Practice vigilance, knowledge, skill, and empathy, to produce successful results while using technology and education.


While technology does have the potential to disrupt traditional education, it also has the ability to enhance it in many ways. Schools must embrace change in order to stay relevant, but they should also not forget the importance of human interaction and accurate information.


[1] Ways To Integrate Technology In The Classroom

[2] Ashley Madison: 'Suicides' over website hack

[3] How 23andMe Caused a Divorce: A Look at Unintended Consequences

[4] How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy

[5] Teenagers who watch screens in free time 'do worse in GCSEs'

[6] Technology cannot replace teachers’ role in class


[8] How and When to Limit Kids' Tech Use

[9] Technology and Education: The Double-Edged Sword

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