The issue of students failing all over the world, especially in America, has gained quite some attention lately. We do have technological advancements and all sorts of perks to count on, but students, on the other hand, haven’t been faring well after all. Computers only gave way to plagiarism, gaming and social networking, while keeping productivity, originality and hard work on the minimum. Or should I say…. “at bay”.

If I were to talk about American students, there’s a lot of debatable stuff. First off, the general population of these students is falling behind good grades, with respect to “quality” education. There are many reasons for that; student loans and hefty fee structures are two of them. But they come in the later areas, granted that a particular student is willing to study.

What about those bright headed individuals who think of school, or an institute as a liability? Kids are pathetic at times, and they only go to the school or college because their parents send them.

We offered those students computers. Once the devices were brought inside the classrooms, what do you have here, BAM the grades start slumping. A computer can be a good teaching machine, and for some students, it did work its magic. I’ve seen a handful of students who just love doing something productive on computers. There’s this kid who likes low level programming, he’s a pro at C++.

Speaking of kids, you must’ve heard about that 14-year old game developer who beat the sh*t out of Angry Birds. His name is Robert Nay and he made this game called Bubble Ball, a simple game that involves physics. It instantly became a huge success on the app store.

an artist's view of the debt impact on american education system

At this point, some of you guys will call Nay a genius. It’s probably a valid argument but the kid did have computers at his disposal and he made good use out of them, instead of hogging Twitter or Facebook 24/7. This brings me to the next point, which is… <Drums Beating in Anticipation>

The role of software companies in education:

  • So, can you name any software company that specifically built something for educational purpose? Wait a sec, before jumping to any conclusions think of a company, which worked on long term basis. I know Microsoft did start working on educational software development projects, but they haven’t been heard from in while now. Bill Gates went an extra mile to introduce computers in classrooms but it was a sneaky move for Windows advertisement.
    • The younger they are; the easier it is to hardwire them.

Now let’s move on to science subjects and the role of computers in this context. There are automated systems that really take class lectures to the next level. But American students are not wizards; Merlin is still way ahead of these kids. So what are we getting in the long run? Take a look at these “perks”:

Twitter:

  • The best micro blogging service anyone could ever come up with. The way all those celebrities, stalkers and creeps are huddled in there, it’s so easy to start with a few tweets and get hooked to the website forever. It reminds me of “Katt Williams”, the way he uses “Bit*h” word, it’s a cherry on top of Vocabulary 101. Maybe he should start a side course that teaches words, which rhyme with Bitch. Oh, and by the way, Williams did say something about a 5-year old kid adding his/her parents on Facebook.

Facebook, a great convenience for time waste:

Facebook- the caption says it all

  • They call it the Facebook syndrome. Mark Zuckerberg created a website that has turned out to be a phenomenal addiction on a massive scale. People live, breathe and eat Facebook. Bosnia has Facebook too, it’s funny that the country doesn’t have enough roads but it has access to Facebook. At this rate school goers are hooked to these websites like Super Glue. Before Facebook, it used to be MySpace, and LiveJournal. Both of them did the same things back then.

Google:

a comic illustrating a common teacher's grasp on knowledge

  • As much as Google has facilitated us with all sorts of results, we can’t deny the fact that Google has blocked the thinking level of students. Give them a task that involves extensive essay writing or something that involves a lot of “originality”, they jump to Google or Wikipedia. The latter URL comes as an alternative option – that is if the kid hasn’t been getting info about a specific person.
    • The next thing they do is, they copy all the info through and through, paste it in a text editor (I like MS Word), and print it. Viola, the report is ready and Mr. Dumb Dumb at school will give an A grade. For the reference, Mr. Dumb Dumb is your class teacher; feel free to change the name. Some students tout out “creativity” by actually going an “extra” mile to re type the copied information. Yaaaaayy, it’s a real gem there.
    • Some students are even okay with a “C”. However, little do they know that most of the prestigious schools, colleges and universities (yes, Students do copy complete Thesis documents) have a plagiarism checker software installed in the officials’ systems. This is to ensure a sense of originality. But all that the plagiarism checker software is doing is that it’s encouraging students to rewrite the original documents that they copied from the internet.

World of Warcraft and tons of other online MMORPGs

hundreds of players gathered around in-game in world of warcraft

  • It’s the “OMG I WANNA PLAY IT RIGHT NOW” game of the century. Trust me; I’ve been hooked to WoW for a long time now. Don’t believe me, here’s a link to my Character (LoydGanks); I built him from scratch. Oh yeah, for this mean Tauren Warrior, I had to sacrifice a lot of university lectures. I’d keep on playing the game for hours on end, completely ignoring my studies and stuff like that.
    • I stopped playing after level 82, realized that the game wasn’t doing me any good. My case was something I’d call “mild”, as I’m sure that there’re tons of other kids who’re quite the extremists regarding this game.

And that’s not the end of it; we’re losing a lot of other things at the cost of modern facilities. Take, for instance, handwriting into account. Where are those kids who used to have the perfect handwriting? The modern generation can type on a keyboard like a Gizmo, but if you give them a pen or a pencil to write with, the results will look like crayon drawings.

I’m 26 year old now, and I remember those days when I was in 4th grade. My mom would bring those notebooks with 4 lined separations on each page. It was a perfect notebook for straightening out your alphabets and their overall dimensions.

Did I forget something? Oh, yes I did. Sometimes one of the most obvious reasons is right in front of you…

Unlimited access to porn:

Is there such a thing as ethical porn

  • Ohhh la.. laa how could we forget porn. The sweet sultry babes, with their perfectly curved bodies and fats that are appropriately placed here ‘n there – Not an inch on the wrong side. Porn is not being treated like a “Dirty Little Secret” anymore. This industry has evolved like a lava eruption, restless and always hungry to consume anything in its way.
  • Did you know that porn is no longer being kept in one of those downtown shops at 42nd Street? People don’t have to go to “Glory Holes” and those cubicles for entertainment. Just tap a good old website and let the fun begin. Americans spend over $10 Billion on porn; most of it comes from students and individuals who’re in their teens.
  • Americans aside, the porn industry has subscribers and visitors from all over the world. Run the numbers regarding a porn website’s daily earnings and you’ll be baffled.
  • Watching Porn is a great past time activity and sometimes it leads to “other activities” (if you know what I mean). As a result, the excessive indulgence of an individual in these “side activities” leads him or her to lose the productivity levels of the brain. The next day when the student goes to the class room, the brain is half dead. Repeated process leads to a permanent short term memory loss…

I’d like you to conclude this entire discussion. Let me know what you think of the involvement of computers, technology and other things in academics. By the way, I’d love to see 2 groups of students equally divided and tested for 2 weeks. Let’s say, Group A has access to a lot of machinery and computers but not a good number of teachers. Group B has great teachers, all of them are highly qualified and there is a small number of available computers. Which one of these groups will manage to pass a test after 14 days? What do you think?