The good, the bad, the technology

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 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Technology broadens horizons but can dull creative thinking, campus IT director says.

By Solomon A. Wilson

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Using technology on a daily basis has become second nature to just about everyone in today’s society.

Step onto a college campus and you will see students with their headphones, staring down at a screen, or chatting away on the phone. People’s minds are so vulnerable to technology that they don’t realize how easily it affects their brain actions.

Director of information technology Usha Venkat said technology can have positive and negative effects on people.

Venkat said students may miss out on skills when it comes to research or socializing.

“If you look at the impact of technology on the brain, I feel that somehow the creative side is not well exercised,” Venkat said. “(Students) spend a lot of time on technology that they are not able to research without it.”

She said students depend so much on search engines like Google that they are not able to do work without them.

“They don’t really challenge their brains … to explore something on their own,” she said. “They quickly turn to search engines for answers.”

Venkat said technology isn’t always negative; students have access to just about anything they desire through the Internet.

“The world is on their fingertips,” she said. “Sitting in one place, they have access to everything that is going on around them. Accessibility to information has improved.”

She said as a result, students become more globalized. That experience impacts their learning tremendously.

“As an IT director, I do feel that technology is a valuable tool that can contribute to learning,” Venkat said.

Adriana Ruiz contributed to this story.

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