Technology: Boon or Bane?

          Looking back and comparing life twenty years ago to now, people’s lifestyle, the norms, and basically everything have been powerfully affected by technology. I am a passive person. I don’t easily get affected by the latest trends. But, in technology, there is no way I can not feel its powerful impact in my life that as a preschool teacher and a mom, I have felt the compulsion to ask, “is technology a boon or bane?”

        I have been a preschool teacher for five years now in a small school here in Thailand, particularly in Nakhon Ratchasima. I am a Filipino, my husband is a Filipino, so that means I am in a totally foreign land. When I first came in this school, no one (save the boss), literally speaks English, and I don’t speak Thai! That WAS a challenge. The only expectation of the boss from English teachers is to teach English to kids, make them read and write English. That’s all. Sounds easy. But wait, how? That’s when I started to take advantage of technology. First of all, I did a lot of research. Thanks, indeed to computer and the internet. Fast Forward. From just my sister and I, the school now has 18 English teachers in just a matter of five years. Thanks to technology!

               So, is technology a boon or bane? Based on experience, it’s a boon for most of the time. It’s highly beneficial in this fast-pacing and growing world. I could enumerate a lot of things and my list would go on and on for the things that I have benefited from technology. From the most simple to complex forms, I will be eternally grateful. Before I will be sharing my own personal thoughts and experience, I will first share this link for a more objective details of the perks of technology:

These are some things that I personally benefit from the internet:

  • The use of YouTube in my class. YouTube saves a lot of my voice and energy. I don’t need to exert too much energy in singing so I could save my voice for the discussion of the lessons. Also, there are a lot of reading drills in YouTube and not just songs, even stories!
  • Pinterest! With loads of ideas and PDFs we could get from, it always saves a teacher a lot of time and from exhaustion. A preschool teacher needs a lot of materials and techniques to get little minds to grow.
  • Smartphones. Communication, research, saving files, internet banking – these are a few things that I regularly benefit from smartphones.
  • Online Shopping. As a mom, a woman and a teacher, I just LOVE this!

           Now, for the negative side, I have heard from friends who are also teachers that the behavior of children nowadays are affected by the wrong use of technology, specifically, the internet. A lot of videos are not beneficial for children, rather, they destroy the thinking skill, mentality, social skills, and behavior of the kids. Children are easily influenced and conditioned. Whatever they see often, that they easily adapt. So for videoclips that shows violence, and other negative images, those are stayed in the minds of the children. They are stimulated because of the fast motions and beautiful pictures, that they get stuck for hours and hours, and they get so angry when you stop them to watch. I observed this with my little one. At the age of one, she already got exposed in YouTube. She learned a lot – both positive and negative. She learned songs, words that we never taught, she can even sight read when she was two because of the videos she’s watching. But, as much as the good, there are also bad effects to her. First and last thing everyday was YouTube. The behaviors of the characters of the short clips she’s watching were adapted though we never practice those at home. She also learned death, fear, and brutality at a young age because of her exposure to the media. Same thing with my kids at school. Parents are complaining about their children’s behavior. Children don’t play with other children, instead, they got their ipads and smartphones. They become socially and emotionally unhealthy. They also become dependent on technology that they don’t know how to behave properly without it. Here’s a link for a more research-based list of negative effects of technology:

In conclusion, is technology boon or bane? Both. And the answer solely lies in one’s fingertips.