The Hater: Tech, No!

The never-ending treadmill of educational technology.

4 min read

Dear Sequoyah,

Technology. I love technology, you love technology, we all love technology. Nothing restores my faith in humanity more than hearing about an advancement in technology that will actually help people survive in this dangerous world. But today, I’m not talking about that kind of technology. No, I am talking about the kind of technology that is only used so that people can feel like they are living in the future, and that technology shouldn’t be worth a dime to anyone, let alone a school trying to educate the next generation of humanity. That technology doesn’t make anybody’s life easier. In fact, it makes our lives harder by forcing us to go an extra, unnecessary step.

Sometimes, it seems, people are forced to use this kind of technology for the purpose of “becoming more connected” or “making everything easier to access.” But how often does technology actually do these things? Almost freaking never. In fact, usually technology does the exact opposite, making things accessible only if you have the right technology and the permission to access it.

Which brings me to Sequoyah’s technology–oh god, the technology! Not to say that I hate the technology at Sequoyah exactly, I just don’t often see the point. When I first started getting writing assignments for homework, half a decade ago in 2010, I would have to write the assignment by hand. Gratnted, I was in the third grade, but my understanding is that even Treehousers are iPadded up now. Only rarely did we have to type back then. Pen and paper has a simplicity–write it and hand it in–a simplicity that Google Docs punches in the face. Now I must always type the assignment, twiddle its sharing settings, move it to the proper imaginary folder. This elaborate procedure relies on my having access to a computer, to the Internet, and to my Sequoyah Google account. I mean, for duck’s sake, it all requires more effort than using a R.O.B.*

Of course how could I rant about technology at Sequoyah without critiquing the Chromebooks. Chromebooks are technically “computers,” I suppose, but if you don’t have Internet, they are as useless as a brick in a T-shirt. Back when computers first came around, in World War II, they were designed to do a certain set of calculations that were based on mathematical equations. Without the Internet, the Chromebook cannot even calculate a single missile trajectory. The World War II computers took up a whole room and could only do one thing, yet still managed to be more useful than the Chromebooks.

But possibly the worst thing about the Chromebooks is that they become obsolete too quickly. Remember when Sequoyah first got the iPads, and everyone was super excited, and then about a year later no one used them anymore? Ok, maybe we still use them, but not as much as we should, or not with that Christmas-morning feeling we used to get. So they got the Samsung Chromebooks, and then they got the HP Chromebooks, and now no one uses the Samsung ones anymore? Basically, since technology advances at such a fast rate now (heck, that’s what led to the end of the World’s Fair), one or two years after Sequoyah gets new technology, it will become obsolete, forcing the school to spend even more money on new technology. Mark my words, it will happen with the HP Chromebooks in about a year or four. The newer the tech, the faster it dies. I bet the school hasn’t replaced its water heater in years.

Sequoyah functioned just fine before the introduction of technology. The Over There had nine desktops, and every last one worked better than all of our

current Chromebooks and iPads combined. I do realize that when Art first got the desktops, they were advanced technology, but it was advanced technology that actually worked well enough so that it didn’t have to be upgraded two years later.

And then there is the bane of all of our existences: the e-portfolio. Just… why? What is the real reason behind the e-portfolio? Because no one has ever given me even the slightest figment of a purpose for the e-portfolio’s existence. Ok, fine, I’ve been told lots of things about them, but it often seems like they were designed just to make my life harder. E-portfolios are a good way of storing work electronically, I suppose, but in order to do this you have to either scan it into a computer, export it to the “cloud” from your computer, or completely re-write it altogether, all so that at the end of the year your parents can see three pieces of work that you think make you look good. Would it not achieve the same purpose just to shove the original piece of paper in their faces and say, “I did good”?

I realize that Sequoyah is trying to make everything easier and accommodate all age groups, but they did it just fine before they went and mucked it all up with “advanced” technology. In conclusion, technology is pointless, I have nothing else to say, it is an utter mess, and it makes our lives harder, and yeah… that.

The Hater

*Robotic Operating Bud-dy, a pointless quasi-robot that served as a Player Two in certain Nintendo video games during the desperate days of video gaming in 1983. R.O.B. was infamous for the futile effort it required to be your buddy.