The Impact Of Information Technology On Basic Skills Essay

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The Impact of Information Technologies on basic skills

“The extreme sophistication of modern technology - wonderful though its benefits are - is, ironically, an impediment to engaging young people with basics: with learning how things work” (Rees 2011, para. 10). This quote resonates with how different society has become over the past 25 years. Increasingly Information Technology (IT) has found a way into the lives of people and helped to increase productivity. IT has delivered significant benefits to society by making tasks easier, saving time, and helping to advance skills, however, if not utilised properly, it can impact negatively on these skills by hindering literacy skills, hamper critical thinking and impairing communication. Literacy
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Critical thinking can be fostered in different ways, for example McMahon (2009) found that a technology rich environment helps develop better programming skills. Writing a program requires logic, which is also necessary when thinking critically about problems. Improving programming skills therefore also improves critical thinking. Another way to improve critical thinking skills are computerised strategy games. Gerber & Scott (2011) claim that people who play strategy games have a greater aptitude for thinking open-minded. This in turn furthers their critical thinking skills as they find creative ways to solve problems in their games. Furthermore, critical thinking can also be improved by either letting students blog their reflections on problems (Cooper, 2011) or discuss them on discussion forums on the internet (Guiller, Durndell & Ross, 2007). Blogs and discussions forums work in a similar way. Students do not have to give responses in real time, instead they can take time to contemplate their answers and thus are able to reach a deeper level of thinking which is needed to thinking critically. Critical thinking skills can be improved in many different ways by using IT …show more content…
Therefore, a technology-rich environment has drawbacks as it cannot improve problem solving skills without proper instruction, observe (Kerawalla et al., 2007; Vigdor, Ladd & Martinez, 2014). Instruction is important for students as otherwise they might not learn the necessary steps to improve their critical thinking skills with the help of technology. Problematic is also the exposure of the brain to many different stimuli at once. This happens when people engage in multitasking because competing stimuli and information distract the brain and prevent it from processing information (Greenblatt, 2010). Multitasking also prevents deep engagement in an activity due to constantly switching between tasks. Deep engagement, however, is necessary for information to be processed in the long term memory. In addition, the storage of knowledge in memory is also impaired when students copy-&-paste material from the internet but do not work with it. The possession of a resource is not the same as engaging with it. (Ladbrook, 2010; Ellery, 2008; Rowlands et al., 2008). It is important to engage with material in order to think critical about it to be able to gain a deeper understanding. IT can compromise critical thinking when it is not used purposefully and people just acquire material without engaging with

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