One of my professors in masters’ education once said, “High tech solutions create high tech problems.” It was his remark while trying to fix the computerized multimedia projector that was having problem amidst our class. His statement struck me as remarkable, since, as a district Information and Communication Technology coordinator, I too have a wide background in computers. Just like my professor, I recognize how useful this new technology is in establishing effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity in this fast changing times. On the other hand, I usually encounter technical problems with the new technology, and we also have the same plea oftentimes. I enjoyed the benefit and comfort of using this technology while sometimes I felt the stress and anxiety it has caused me.
In this very sophisticated cyber age, computer is one of the most popular and useful technological gadget that everyone wants. Almost every endeavor would utilize the services of a computer to generate, transmit, and produce outputs. Many households are increasingly acquiring this device either for official or recreational purposes. Young and old ones indulge in computer undertakings. It’s a fact that everyone recognizes the necessity and trendiness of computers.
As a teacher, I basically create my lesson plans and activity sheets that can readily be reproduced with very attractive illustrations and pictures. I can easily customize my class records using a spread sheet that easily computes the grades. This eliminates the week-long manual computation of grades. I also tried to make multi-media presentations that were very colorful and novel in the eyes of the children. Thus, I gain their attention and participation. As a very comprehensive source of additional information, internet enriched the content of my instructions. I already have quick access to relevant information that upgrades my professional and intellectual status. Thus, I can share extensive learning with my pupils and co-teachers. I also create, organize, and transmit up-to-date reports that enhance monitoring and evaluation. It is very beneficial to me personally because I have a very poor penmanship. Hence, it lessens the discrimination regarding my illegible handwriting. I had once experienced having low grades due to the scrawl that passed itself off as my handwriting. I enjoyed playing on-line games during my free time as a stress reliever after a very tedious task.
On the other hand, this technology brings about problems that are also hi-tech. In order to produce quality outputs, one needs to spend a great deal of money to buy the said equipment with its peripherals. This technology is usually having technical problems due to their constant and rigid use. This may have hardware and software defects such as short circuits and viruses. The owners are forced to consult technicians who usually take advantage by giving low quality of service for a high cost. The above scenario entails spending a lot of money. When we talk about losing money, it means sacrifice—most especially for those in the mainstream like us.
Moreover, one could not always rely on using the said technology due to its limited supply. In the case of DepEd, not all schools are supplied with such equipment. Teachers and school administrators have no access to computers. But, the higher DepEd officials usually require computer-generated reports. This forces teachers and school heads to find ways of having those reports computerized. This frustrates them because they do not have such equipment.
Furthermore, the glory of easy access to relevant information has an evil twin, which is also the quick access to violent and immoral materials. Thus, children and youth are exposed to online games and pornographic stuff. Peoples’ attitude towards sex and immorality are worsening. Many of the high school and college students download such entertainment materials from the internet. This is obviously a problem not only of the family but of the whole community.
In terms of health issues, it causes different kinds of illnesses both psychologically and physically. People are usually addicted to playing games instead of doing worthwhile tasks. Computer addicts increase the risk of illness due to constant exposure to radiation. According to one of the surveys conducted in big municipalities in Agusan del Sur, many of the youths who are exposed to computer games develop gastroenteritis. This is because computer gamers forget and skip eating while playing the game. Despite the provincial government’s efforts at crafting a provincial ordinance that should establish measures to curb misuses of the internet, the said issue continues to persist. The end result is spending huge amount of money for the medication of those illnesses.
Children tend to escape from classes just to secretly play computer games. As a result, they show declining interest in going to school. Attendance is severely affected, resulting in very low academic performance by the students. This poses a challenge to the cohort-survival of pupils in the school. School heads and teachers are consequently forced to take precautionary measures and interventions.
The above issues and concerns show advantages and disadvantages of computer technology. It is very evident that the computer has been very useful to us. It makes our lives more comfortable and easy. However, it also creates new problems that make us stressed out and depressive. Thus, I strongly agree with my professor that high tech solutions create high tech problems.
Aldory Gevero is Teacher-in-Charge at the Pag-asa Elementary School, Sta. Josefa District, Agusan del Sur.