In the last few years, Technology has taken larger steps in every day development. Not even 10 years ago Facebook was being run out of a Dorm, Twitter DIDN’T EXIST, and Youtube was just starting up. Ten years ago floppy-disks were people’s the main instrument for backing up files, laptops were slightly thinner than typewriters, Ipods were in their most basic form, and CD players were seen as the technology of the future. Thank goodness times have changed, and I am sure that times will continue to change even more in the next 10 years due to more technological advances, but that isn’t necessarily good for you as a student. Along with these leaps in advancements come distractions in the form of conveniences, and some of these distractions can be fatal in attempting to concentrate.
This page is meant to show you the helpful aspects and warn you of the dangers of technology so………………… WATCH OUT!!!
Technology that is always Harmful in an academic environment:
In short, these things will more than likely be distractions if you’re trying to get work done
- Game systems
- As much fun as having an Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo may be, all of these things are created for entertainment and seem to have the sole purpose of distraction. Get rid of them when you trying to do work.
- Everyone can appreciate a great “photo op,” but in reality taking pictures while your studying isn’t really the way to go.
Technology that can be Harmful in an academic environment:
These things could be distractions if you’re trying to get work done, but they could also be helpful in some ways.
- Phones (Especially smart ones)
- Phones are getting exceedingly more advanced, enabling the user to do much more than just talk on it. Not that talking to friends wasn’t enough of a distraction, but being able to search Google, check Facebook, or play Monopoly, has simply made the phone a potential adversary of work. Staying in contact with friends and family is always a good thing, but make sure your phone doesn’t turn into a way to procrastinate on doing work.
- The return of television to your world is something that most student are excited about, but the with TV’s return comes the threat of time wasted watching its endless stream of entertainment. Some classes will ask for you to watch TV; most will not. TV is a nice break from work, but make sure that the break doesn’t turn into an all day affair.
- Computers- This category contain a number of different things that can be helpful or harmful to students:
- Computer games
- These are also meant to be a distraction for people that have time to kill. As a student this will almost never be the case. Leave them at home for the school year, and play them over break
- This can be a distraction because it is easy to get sucked into the world of downloading when you should be studying. Keep yourself in check so that getting the newest song, doesn’t mean losing vital studying time.
- Talking to friends is always great, and Skype has made it possible for people to stay in facial contact with each other from miles apart, but as for a lot of the communication devices in the world, its takes up time. It isn’t unusual to not notice time fly while catching up with old friends, and when you have time to kill, that is a good way to use it, but talking to your best friend that you haven’t seen in two months, when you have a paper due has been known to lead people into trouble.
- Computer games
- The Internet (Examples of Harmful sites)
- This is arguably the most distracting site that you will encounter as a student; I have come to regard this site as “the enemy of homework.” The best advice I could give is to not be viewing this site when attempting to do work.
- This video streaming site can distract a person for hours on end, because of how entertaining it is. There will be some youtube videos that your teachers will ask you to watch for content, but make sure that the viewing of these videos doesn’t turn into hours of needless video watching.
- Thought e-mail is a vital and effective way of getting information from teachers, classmates, colleagues, and friends, it can also be a distracting means of communication between such parties.
Here is a video showing the dangers of technology: Although the video is bought to you in a comedic atmosphere it shows the most severe punishment for becoming a slave to technology: TERMINATION FROM THE UNIVERSITY!!!
Technology is an important part of the learning experience here at UVa. In order to get the most out of your time at UVa, it is important that you use the technology that is available to you. Listed below is the technology that is helpful or can be helpful to you here at UVa:
Always Helpful Technology:
- UVa Id – Your student Id is an important piece of technology that allows you to have access to your dorm areas(such as lounges), dining halls, and other buildings.
- Calculator – helps with mathematical computations
- Watches/Alarm Clocks – Time management is very important to your academic success here at UVa. This technology is helpful to alert students at certain times so that your always on time.
- Printer/Scanner/Copier – These are important to allow the you to print off/upload/copy documents for classes or research.
- Computer – It allows you to use the Internet, type documents, listen to music(if it helps you concentrate), watch videos and organize/store data
- Internet – It allows you to access data from around the world
- E-mail – allows you to send/receive electronic mail to others, which is very important because it is the mainly the way students and teachers contact each other.
- SIS (Student Information System) – allows you to manage your courses, financial information, and transcripts
- UVaCollab – allows you to maintain information and assignments pertaining to your courses
- UVa Library – allows you to look up research materials
- Wikipedia – allows your to read/submit information on a particular subject/topic and links back to specific references. Always make sure that the references on the Wiki are credible.
- Dictionary.com – allows you to locate verified definitions and also has other reference materials
- Citationmachine.net – helps you to cite sources in their proper formats
- Smart phones/PDA(Personal Digital Assistant) – allows you to use the Internet, make phone calls, listen to music, watch videos, take pictures and organize/store data
- Ipods/MP3 Players – allows you to listen to music
- Television – allows you to watch and gain information through television programs
All of these things listed have their place in a college environment, but the timing that they should be used can be hazy at times. A college student needs stress relieving things to help relieve themselves of the incredible work load that they face here, but when it’s time to work, it is important for a student to realize what will hinder their ability to work and what will help it.
At UVa, we have chose to embrace the goods that technology has to offer. We even have a media center that is available to all students where they are able to do all things technical. Technology is only as harmful to your education as you make it.