Technology affects students’ morals and values

Has today’s technology caused us to become a cut and paste society? Who doesn’t depend on spell check, speech-to-text or smartphones to carry out daily living activities anymore? Technology is wonderful, but it can impact us in negative ways as well. Our dependence on technology has impacted not only our ability, but our desire to put in the work needed for original finished products. It has led students to poor spelling and grammar skills, plagiarizing, and outright academic cheating.

If one listens long enough in an office setting, someone will eventually say they used to be able to spell before spell check. Honestly, all the typist has to do is get the word close to the actual spelling and the computer will do the rest. As far as grammar goes, most word processing software will alert you to your grammatical errors and even suggest corrections. There are even online applications that can be downloaded that will scan all written work for incorrect wording. In many high school English classes, students don’t have to learn the rules of grammar because the emphasis is on the product, not the process, so they let the technology fix the product for them.

There are plenty of research articles out there that point to the fact that plagiarism is a problem across academia in this country. Today, many students, instead of summarizing and rephrasing the information, just copy and paste the text and use it as their own. There are multiple websites that offer to write term papers for a certain amount of money. Even though these sites have disclaimers saying the papers are written for research purposes, most students still use them for their own. Due to this, teachers and professors now have to use different software applications that check for plagiarism.

Although cheating is ethically wrong, many students are willing to ignore their conscience for free time that comes from the ease that can be found through technology. Students today can get online and search any title of a worksheet, text from an assignment, and most times not only does that worksheet appear, so does the answer sheet. Many times, if one has already completed the assignment and uploaded it to the internet, more than likely it will be discovered by a student. Since the world bases their daily lives off of their cell phones, students will send pictures through text to other students sharing each other’s work.

Today’s technology would make our ancestors amazed beyond words – if they would stop working long enough to use it. We could tell them it would make their lives easier, and it would. It would also dull their skills and create a laziness to which they were not accustomed. It rules our daily lives and we have come to depend on it for nearly everything. We cannot, however, allow it to overcome our values, ethics and morals. Working hard and doing the right thing should never go out of style.