Thursday, July 5, 2018

Three reasons why we love technology: What happens when our tech use is out of balance?

By: Mary-Ann Vardakas

Educators know that integrating technology authentically to support learning has many benefits.  The accessibility to and ubiquity of devices, information and digital tools should be celebrated as these aspects have transformed the way we learn and live our lives.

We also know that we use our devices in formal and informal learning settings at all hours of the day. Adults, youth and children are using mobile technology and digital tools not just for learning but for entertainment purposes. Technological change is happening at a whirlwind speed.

Just like with anything in life, balance and moderation are key to having a healthy relationship with technology. When our usage of technology is not balanced, these positive aspects can have a negative impact on our lives. Here is a positive list with the negative side if out of balance. Below are 3 positive aspects of technology use and how they can become negative when used out of balance.

Technology allows us to connect with information and people at anytime and from anywhere. If time restrictions and limits are not set, overusing technology at all hours of the day can negatively impact in-person interactions and damage close personal relationships (Lickerman, 2010). Try setting a time limit for mobile for using mobile devices at home and be present when you are spending time with friends and family.

Technology allows people to access information for just about anything. Professors expect students to produce many academic papers in a short period of time due to the ability to access information and resources online, and the issue of this quick turnaround time is that transfer of knowledge may never occur (Walsh, 2015). It can be overwhelming for people to work through all the information available. Try to look for key questions and frame your research into big ideas. Big ideas are “enduring understandings” and through exploration of these key questions students are “encouraged to become creators of their understandings and not passive receivers of information” (OME, 2013). It is important to create knowledge instead of passively consume knowledge in order to truly learn what you are studying. Innovating and creating content can help manage the information and help the student experience deep learning.

Technology allows people to have entertainment on the go. Having the ability to watch a movie, check social media sites, and play online games anywhere can be fun but also dangerous. Technology dependence can develop if technology is misused and the main form of connecting in your life. Ensure that you create a balance and go outside to connect with the natural environment, make sleep a priority and partake in community building activities (in-person) (Matthews, 2017).

Watch the Youtube video  below for an interesting perspective on rapid technology change and people’s perception of technological change.


Big Think. [Big Think]. (2017, January 6). Techno anxiety? We’ve been afraid of disruptions since the printing press [Video File]. Retrieved from

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2013). The Ontario School Curriculum: Social Studies Grades 1-6 History and Geography 7 and 8. Retrieved from

Lickerman, A. (2010, June 8). The effect of technology on relationships [blog post]. Retrieved from

Matthews, D. (2017, November 1). Preventing and calming kids’ technology-fueled anxiety   [blog post]. Retrieved from

Walsh, K. (2015, December 17). How technology is causing anxiety [blog post]. Retrieved from

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