By Jimoh Smith
As Technology advances around the World, educators and administrators are striving to use and/or create the most digitally aligned curriculum available, ranging from e-books in place of print titles to fully interactive learning management systems.
Why? You make ask. The reason is not far-fetched, it is simply to provide students with the best possible chance of success in an almost entirely digital world.
However, research has established that the same technology that is meant to aid in future accomplishments ends up as a distraction for most students instead?
We all know what happens when technology, such as social media and other online applications supersedes a student’s desire to engage in skill-building activities?
From careful observation, below are five skills that are often lost or poorly developed as a result of ‘addiction’ to social media by students.
Writing is a part of nearly every job, however small or large a part it may be. Today, though, one of the most common complaints received from employers is that MOST job candidates cannot write properly.
The cause of this has been traced to the use of shorthand during chats on facebook, twitter and Instagram by this generation. Because most of their communication is shorthand and text, the ability to communicate effectively is challenged,”
2. Interpersonal skills
Making eye contact, holding a conversation, deportment and maintaining one’s attention span are just as critical as being able to communicate in written form, but these, too, are often lost or diminished as a result of excessive use of social media by present day Nigerian students.
Today, students are more often concerned about what’s happening on social media than they are in human to human interaction.
3. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking means to think very deeply about one’s options before taking that final decision. What must I evaluate and in which context? How do I break a subject down for proper analysis? And finally, how did I come to my conclusion? These are all key steps in solving a problem and/or making a decision. Almost all employers know this, but for students who are engrossed in retweeting, posting, commenting and ‘liking’ different posts on social media, these concepts may be all but lost on them. Why? Technology is often wrought with immediate gratification. Click a button, and your answer appears. No need to evaluate or analyze. No need to think about one’s thinking process.
4. Problem-solving skills
Another skill students are losing in this present age is problem-solving skills. This skill is critical for success in any given job because to use it effectively, you should be able to use your imagination.
People with problem –solving skills are often deep analytical thinkers. When faced with challenges they often consider the potential resolutions to any problem, and how might they be able to reach said resolutions? This type of hypothetical inventiveness and subsequent scrutiny is a skill that can rarely be found inside of a screen. Rather, it requires the ability to mentally multitask and often maintain deep and sustained thought. This however is often fractured by the fast-paced and ever-changing world of social media.
If a problem has been solved, or a decision made, reflecting on the process is also a key step.
It is therefore a key step that ensures proper routing for future thinking.
However, once due to the instantaneous nature of much of the technology coveted by students today, decisions and problems are here and gone in a moment. Technology moves on, and so do its users. Thus, learning to reflect on one’s behaviors is a skill rarely developed by many students.
In a fast paced World like ours, stakeholders need to brainstorm on ways or strategies that can be deployed to make sure students focus on developing these skill sets again.
Therefore, a deliberate effort has to be made by all stakeholders to not only empower students with technological skills they need to excel in today’s World but to also design solutions that will ensure that students interact with applications that would mimic real-world interactions and not just screens.