Technology for Adolescents: Boon or Bane? Adolescence is a tumultuous stage wherein young people strive to know their selves better. From a time when they are under the loving care of their parents, they have grown reliant on them for all their needs. However, asserting their independence in these earlier stages may be limited to choosing the clothes they want to wear or going to a friend’s house on some days…
They are fraught with so many issues that affect their thinking, choices and behaviors. Adolescence is a very trying time. It is when individuals struggle to establish their own identity in the face of changes and challenges that come their way. Not only are they adjusting to physical changes, but also emotional and social changes as well. For some, there is more to it than the usual adjustment to change, as some factors gravely affect their school performance. Technology is one thing that adolescents gravitate to. The many features of gadgets never cease to amaze them, as if these were new toys they can continually explore. In their perennial search for their sense of self-identity, they may explore a variety of things until they finally learn where their hearts lead them. Technology is a tool that can take them there. Technology for Learning Progress dictates that people adapt to its changes so that they will not be left behind. The view that modern advances in information technology would greatly benefit learners is one that is being upheld in most schools and universities. According to the National Academy of Sciences (1995), schools recognize the need for students to be adequately prepared for the workplace in the future and take advantage of the information revolution in updating skills and knowledge of the youth. This is why schools facilitate learning using technological innovations in helping students learn how to work cooperatively in gathering, analyzing and utilizing information . Information technology is a double-edged sword that may be a boon or a bane to education. Traditionalists cannot stop time from moving forward with technological advancements, yet maintain that students need to be taught traditional methods that have worked well in developing an individual’s thinking long before the birth of information technology. Nowadays, online learning has made it possible for students to access all the information they need on certain matters. The internet, being very supportive of learning seems to have anticipated that learner support can come in many forms such as learner-to-learner, learner-to-instructor, instructor-to-learner, and learner-to-expert interactions. Anderson & Elloumi (2004) contend that apart from these, strategies to promote learner-context interaction to translate to real life experiences since it allows learners to develop personal knowledge and construct real meaning from the information. Information and computer technology make online students interact with facilitators through email or webchats and with their peers in chatrooms or discussion boards. They get to receive updates from newsletters or email. There are support services available to online students to ensure that their professional goals and current capabilities are matched. Ludwig-Hardman & Dunlap (2003) argue that “This interaction with potential students not only helps them feel immediately connected with the learning community, but the diagnostic activities help them reflect on their learning goals and strategies, a process important to self-directed learning” (para.18). An ideal online learning system will be based on a plan ...
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