On March 26, Leesville Road High School lost power for several minutes. Those on the computers lost their current work as the computers shut down. On March 5, Cary households darkened because a car tore down power lines. All power had been out for several hours, including electricity that power light fixtures, radios, TVs and desk computers. While it is becoming common for people to own laptops, not everyone has one. Some batteries may last for hours, but all eventually die without being charged into an electric outlet. Earlier in the school year, Leesville’s power faded momentarily as students exited the school buildings after 2:18.
While civilizations grow extremely dependent on technology to execute daily lives, there are times where it fails.
The other day my best friend had heard on the radio how chiropractors blame cell phones for student neck problems. We launched into a discussion on how we disagree with that statement. Teenagers tend to hold the phones up to their faces, instead of bending down to look at them. The neck tilts down as students take notes, execute homework, study or slave over the keyboard, typing out a school paper. Many student life’s now revolve fully around the use of technology.
Before schools integrated computers into their lesson plans, all papers were either handwritten or occasionally typed by means of a typewriter. Now, almost every essay, project and homework assignment is expected to be typed. Some teachers at Leesville do not even have paper textbooks to assign to students. Mr. Foreman, science teacher, for example, prints copies to hand to students being that the Honors Earth Science textbook in only available online. All students in Spanish classes are no longer given textbooks or workbooks.
Then there are teachers who post homework sheets online and have class discussions over wikis. Mr. Phillips, English teacher, has his media Culture Literacy students respond to an online Wiki every week
On the rare occasion that papers are supposed to be handwritten, students stare at teachers perplexed. In my four years attending high school, only recently have I been asked to hand write a paper, which had been for the honors program application and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Because of this new dependency on technology, when it is not available, students fall into a state of befuddlement.
What will happen when a power surge occurs the night a paper or comments over a discussion board is due via over the internet? What will happen when Google Docs decides to malfunction as a final essay is being written? What will happen when Microsoft erases a powerpoint or document that one has been editing for over hours? While Microsoft functions without internet, it does not function without electric power. As students, scenarios similar to these have already occurred numerous amount of times, creating extra stress for the student. Sometimes, the papers will be turned in late because of said technology failing. What will happen when a solar flare finally occurs, wiping out all technology? With how we run the world now, will we be able to survive?