The importance of technology in the 21 century cannot be overstated. Computers and high-tech mobile gadgets have become commonplace in the world. In other words, technology has become inevitable for use by human beings as they seek progress to humanity. The learning process has benefited greatly from advancements in technology. Many students and learning institutions are able to afford and use technology to advance intellectualism or the doctrine that knowledge is acquired by reason without resort to experience. Technology aids the reasoning capacity of people and in memory retention, efforts that are central to intellectualism (Gifford, 21). Some quarters such as Susan Jacob in her book “The Age of American Unreasoning” maintain that technology and its advances is to blame for the anti-intellectualism that is evident in modern day America. However, this is not true and the following presentation discusses the how technology is beneficial in the advancement of intellectualism. Technology is in essence the speeding up of ways and means of sharing information and as such, it aids in the dissemination of wide array of information thereby advancing intellectualism.
In line with the development of the internet, educational technology, especially in the US, has grown to enhance intellectualism. Online courses have gained massive popularity and almost all universities and major colleges around the world offer some courses online. Students are able to transfer files, chat with many other students, and have teachers monitor their progress online. Since students can be scattered in all parts of the world, they have get opportunities to learn about other cultures, places, and people in online platforms (Kosakowski, 18). According to Gifford, this is good for global integration and the enhancement of intellectualism that has a global outlook (34). The students also have a lot of free time and convenience since they do not need to travel to school every day or use their time in related logistics. The recent advancement in technology has seen the invention of video conferencing, which allows people to interact better. These technological advancements mean that people have more time to engage in other activities that enhance their intellectualism (Kosakowski, 19). Moreover, the people who interact in online platforms are able to learn a lot more from each other and from people in faraway places.
Technology can benefit intellectualism by enriching, deepening, and accelerating basic skills. When teachers and educators provide learners with the right conditions, the students can learn faster and understand more using technology (Smith). The conditions the educators need to provide to learners include friendly gadgets and suitable learner-driven guidance. A study by the University of Michigan compared paper and pencil approaches with the use of computers. The researchers found an increment of 10-15% in the mastery of basic skills such basic arithmetic, sentence constructions, recognition of objects among others by the group of students who used computers (Gifford, 20). Another study showed that students using computers took 30% less time to do the same things on computer as another student using traditional methods such as books (Gifford, 20). The mastery of basic skills shows a heightened level of intellectualism or reasoning capacity and as such, technology emerges as having a benefit in supporting intellectualism in classroom situations.
Technology is useful in engaging and motivating people. Numerous studies have shown that people learn more when they are engaged in exercises or activities in which they enjoy. Technology connects people to real life situations that interest people and this forms the basis of people retaining much of what they learn. It is a powerful motivation tool for people to learn and retain a broad range of skills-communication skills, scientific skills, problem-solving skills and other skills vital in the intellectual development of human beings (Allen, 90). For instance, when students are allowed to use computers to compose something, there has been remarkable fluency in writing. Some teachers note that technology makes it easier for students to write. One teacher remarks, “word processing does not automatically make students write better but the students became more engaged in their writing” (Gifford, 22). The more students and people in the public become more fluent in their writing, the more their vocabulary becomes more descriptive in the number and types of words they use. As such, technology aids greatly in the development of the reason when it comes to the speech and communication.
The pioneers of technology as well as the makers of technology gadgets have made them very user friendly. For instance, almost anyone can start a computer, receive a phone call, start, and put off a radio, a TV among other gadgets. Although phones, computers, and other high-tech gadgets are a bit complex and require training to use, someone with basic interest can gradually learn to use the devices satisfactorily (Kosakowski, 12). As such, technology places people on an almost equal platform with each person having an equal opportunity to advance their intellectual capacity. People, therefore, develop positive attitude towards their peers and learn the value of working with others. People develop respect for each other the moment they realize that what is at their disposal conforms to what is at the disposal of other people. As such, the equalization nurtures a learning environment where there is intense sharing of information. Additionally, people have the convenience to challenge themselves against the performance of other people. As such, technology offers all people to improve their intellectual capacity in a healthy and sustainable manner.
Technology also enhances intellectualism because it is able to accommodate learners who have special needs. Allen notes that “assistive technology” or devices and software to assist learners with disabilities can help teachers to personalize skills and lessons for each learner (89). This enables people with hearing, sight, walking, standing, holding, or other related challenges to attend school and learn all that they would want to, just like their able-bodied colleagues. Notably, learners with learning disabilities develop better technology skills than their teachers and they find it fun to use the devices and softwares. As such, technology elevates people with varying physical challenges to improve their intellectualism and compete with able-bodies people.
Technology enables learners to learn at their own pace. Admittedly, people learn at different paces. Whereas some are able to understand concepts fast and with minimal explanations, others need more time and deeper explanations. Technology using computers allow learners to revisit learnt concepts and conduct further research on their own (Gifford, 23). Students can also get direct and individualized instructions from the computer. The students can access the supplemental leaning at times they feel most convenient. This saves the teacher the time to concentrate on covering up the curriculum while the students become more self-directed in the learning process.
Technology and the intellectualism it enhances prepare students for the future. When students learn to use technology in the class they develop skills that that shall apply directly at the workplace. Kosakowski observed that workers who are fluent in technology stand a chance to be more effective and productive at the workplace (16). This, he said is the key to improving America’s competitiveness in a global economy. He summed up by stating that the tie for people to prepare children for the realities of the new American workplace is always in the present. Going by Kosakowski’s assertion, it is evident that the workplace values productivity, which is an output of intellectualism, gathered through application of technology.
Evidently, human beings have turned to technology to run the world and improve humanity and, therefore, technology ought to be part of intellectual development. While using technology in class, students learn the critical workplace and thinking skills that they need in order to succeed in their futures (Kosakowski, 18). Since education ceased being the ability to memorize data and became more of collaboration with other people, then the importance of technology increased. This is so because, technology enhances communication and interaction and the more people need to interact with each other, the more they will rely on technology (Smith). Failure to use technology in order to interact with other people now portrays someone as lacking in intellect. In other words, technology and the intellectuality it brings have enhanced human interactions and bonded other skills to improve humanity.
Technology has eased teaching. The incorporation of technology in education gives teachers several ways to deliver content and monitor student progress. They can use audio-visual presentations, projectors, wide screen televisions to deliver content and increase comprehension among the learners (Kosakowski, 19). Moreover, learners can submit their tests and have teachers mark the tests on computers. This eases teachers’ time, improves accuracy of result, and makes the teaching experience easy and enjoyable. The more teachers enjoy their work, the more content they deliver to learners, thereby, increasing intellectualism in the society.
Although technology has many ways, in which it enhances intellectualism it also has some disadvantages towards the same. Notably, technology has changed the lifestyles of many children who now prefer to play video games and interact with technology rather normal play that is essential for healthy and intellectual growth (Jacoby, 67). This is a major concern because people of other ages have also taken to interacting through online platforms such as social media at the expense of intellectually stimulating face-to-face interactions. This issue has been addressed by numerous campaigns to get children and adults to interact in face-to-face interactions while the advent of video-conferencing also offers another viable rout to address the same concern.
It has become inevitable for people to use technology in the 21st century. Technology plays several roles in enhancing intellectualism in the modern American society. To begin with, technology avails information to the comfort of people’s living rooms. It also enables many people to access education cheaply and conveniently through online courses. Since students can be scattered in all parts of the world, they can learn about other cultures, places, and people in online platforms. This is good for global integration and the enhancement of intellectualism that has a global outlook. Technology can also benefit intellectualism by enriching, deepening, and accelerating basic skills. When teachers and educators provide learners with the right conditions, the students can learn basic skills faster. Technology is useful in engaging and motivating people. Evidently, learners enjoy and understand more when they are using technology as opposed to when they use traditional learning methods such as chalkboards, books, pens etc. Technology also places people on an almost equal platform with each person having an equal opportunity to advance their intellectual capacity. It also enhances intellectualism because it is able to accommodate learners who have special needs using “assistive technology”. Technology eases teaching thereby enabling teachers to handle more students and deliver efficiently. Although technology has enhanced intellectualism it has had, the detrimental effect of altering lifestyles of many children and adults who now prefer to play video games and interact with technology rather normal human interactions that are essential for healthy and intellectual growth. Campaigns to get children and adults to interact in face-to-face interactions are gradually reverting the detrimental effects of over relying on technology with solutions such as video-conferencing giving many people opportunities to personalize interactions.
Allen, B. "Delivering the benefits of technology to people with disabilities.” Computing & Control Engineering Journal9.2 (1998): 89. Print.
Gifford, Clive. Technology. New York: Scholastic, 2012. Print.
Jacoby, Susan. The age of American unreason. New York: Pantheon Books, 2008. Print.
Kosakowski, John. The benefits of information technology. Syracuse, NY: Clearinghouse on Information & Technology, 1998. Print.
Smith, Paul. "Great Benefits of Technology in Education." - EdTechReview™ (ETR). N.p., 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 23 June 2014. <http://edtechreview.in/news/705-benefits-of-technology- in-education>.