Study Tip #101 : Is Technology a Curse or a Blessing?

Michelle Li ‘20

Beep! Swoosh! Ding! Close your eyes. Now listen. Do you hear it too? It’s that familiar ringtone tempting you to look at your phone again. As we live in this new technological generation, we all first-handedly experience the advantages of technology at our fingertips. As more and more teens use technology for educational resources, this now sparks the debate on whether or not our devices truly help us with our studies. So the question remains: does technology aid or hinder our future success?


Several Ridge students support the idea of using technology to help one’s studies because they believe it stimulates communication and exhibits efficiency. Clark Kokenge ‘20 emphasizes the importance of accessible technology while studying when he states that “it’s pretty vital for students to use applications like Google Docs which require a computer.” In the 21st century, it’s not a surprise to see many individuals have their own cell phone or personal laptop at school. Since most projects—like research papers and homework assignments—are now digital, students assert that since they have more access to a variety of resources, they should be able to communicate and utilize many different outlets such as Google Docs.


Furthermore, many students like using technologies to help their studies since it is easier to research information through a variety of sources. For instance, at our own media center we have the opportunity to find information for school projects through many databases such as EBSCOhost, JSTOR, Literary Reference Center, and many more. They will be able to find more resources online rather than searching through tons of books to help with their studies. Many students prefer to look up a topic online rather than pore over pages in a book since it takes less time and there are a variety of sources they can use.


Moreover, some students maintain that using technology to study would enable them to learn better and focus more. Not only will students benefit from online sources, but teachers can also benefit since they will have easier connections to their students. For example, Google Classroom is a resource that allows teachers to hand out their assignments digitally. A student has the opportunity to work at their own pace and follow a specific deadline online, while teachers do not have to worry about losing physical copies and having all their assignments in one place. Having all the assignments in one place can keep them organized since they can review their work at any time.


On the other hand, many Ridge students also oppose the idea of using technology as a way of studying since it creates distractions. A common objection is that boredom can lead to distractions such as social media, online games, or other sites that divert one’s attention from studying. Lauren Polito ’20 highlights that certain technologies “can be a big distraction because certain apps and websites like Netflix are so easily accessible.” The accessibility to these devices and the apps they hold cause students to step aside from their educational priorities. Many studies have proven that a teenager spends more time on social media and games rather than using that time to work on their homework and studies.


In addition, while some believe technology provides easier communication between students when studying or doing a group assignment, others establish more prevalent concerns such as credibility and plagiarism. Because many students have access to these technologies, instances arise where students are caught “cheating” on another individual’s work. This can get in the way of one’s studying and one’s success because there are many severe consequences if a student decides to take these actions. Many assert that if a student copies the homework assignment, they will end up struggling on the test.


All in all, using technologies for studying can both hinder and prosper a student’s success. While some people appreciate the efficient, communicative, and creative abilities of these technologies, many still view technology as a distraction with numerous consequences. As we continue to improve our technologies for many generations to come, we must acknowledge both the benefits and the consequences of using technologies while studying. While it is helpful to see both the pros and cons of using technology when studying,  it is ultimately up to the individual and the choices they make.