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The Negative Impact of Technology on the Success of Students Discussed in Benton's Articles "On Stupidity" and "On Stupidity, Part 2"

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In Thomas H. Benton’s articles “On Stupidity” and “On Stupidity, Part 2” from The Chronicle of Higher Education, he claims that although more and more money is spent on education, students entering the college level have diminished verbal skills, an impaired work ethic, an inability to concentrate, and most of all, a lack of knowledge. Benton believes that modern technology, such as the internet and texting, has led the young generation away from the necessary skills and knowledge they need to be successful.

Benton believes that the frequency of multi-tasking distracts our ability to think clearly and reduce our productivity; for example, students like to be on Facebook while they should be finishing online classes or typing papers. Because of this common multi-tasking, Benton believes that students have become less knowledgeable and more unconcerned. He states that simple rather than complex answers appeal to us, and we are becoming more reliant on others to think for us rather than figuring out things ourselves.

He uses an argument from Carr, the author of The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, From Edison to Google (2008). Carr’s argument is that the abundant use of the Internet rewires our brains for skimming, rather than for the crucial concentration required for reading books and writing essays. He then states that this so-called “rewiring” will have the most immediate impact on the rising generation appearing in college classrooms.

Although Benton believes that technology dumbs us down, he is not completely against modern technology. He claims that school teachers and college professors need to work with and adapt to the new technologies rather than merely teaching the old way.

I believe that Benton is right: technolog...

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...so make things like writing essays easier; for example, Microsoft Office is frequently updated, making more options such as adding headers and footers to papers more accessible and clear.

In conclusion, the upcoming college students are less knowledgeable and do indeed have terrible work ethics. We can definitely blame technology, such as the internet, as well as multi-tasking. Although these things can dumb us down, these wonderful, but at the same time horrible, parts of life are unquestionably fundamental to the modern world. They make our lives more enjoyable. Just imagine if tomorrow the internet were taken away. Communications from company to company and from country to country – even simply between friends and family -- would become more difficult. Multi-tasking may be complicated, but it ensures that we stay busy instead of being overwhelmed with boredom.
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