Restrict people, not technology

It is undeniable that the use of technology is infiltrating schools more nowadays ("Be selective on technology use in school"; Monday).

At the same time, it is also inevitable.

Technology will continue to play a big role in schools as our world becomes more tech-savvy.

Technology is said to provide students with a more enriching learning experience.

Instead of the traditional method of merely reading from textbooks, which may bore today's students, teachers use digital projectors in classrooms to project multimedia slides from their laptops onto the screen.

During the holidays, online discussions can be held and homework may be issued through e-learning platforms.

Additionally, devices such as tablets and laptops are necessary for certain courses, such as project work and design.

Schools are not using technology just because it is available.

They are using it because they deem it necessary.

Sooner or later, students will be part of a world where technology infuses everything, from e-learning to e-shopping and e-banking. That is the future.

We have always said that in order to cultivate a skill, one should start young.

I do not blame schools for giving students more frequent use of computers, because schools are just trying to equip students for the future.

Those schools cannot be entirely blamed for the consequent lower academic scores of their students, either.

River Valley High School implemented the iPad scheme because its school leaders felt it was a great tool for learning, both in the classroom and at home ("River Valley High drops iPad scheme"; Monday).

It is beyond the school's control if students misuse the tablets to access unsuitable material.

The school should not be faulted for introducing its iPad scheme; it did so out of goodwill.

Technology cannot be disciplined and restricted, but people can.

The problem may have been caused by technology, but the solution lies within the individual.

As we move ahead to the future, where technology will definitely play a huge role in any field, we have to tell ourselves and our young not to be consumed by the negative aspects of technology.

Henry Choong Kun Lin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2016, with the headline 'Restrict people, not technology'. Print Edition | Subscribe