Most of us think technology is pretty awesome—that is, until you go on a late-night fast food run and the drive-thru voice tells you that the credit card machine is down (and of course you have no cash to pay for your burger and fries).
Or maybe technology is great because you can take an online class, but it isn’t so great when none of your devices will connect to the internet, you can’t turn in your final exam, and your prof doesn’t accept computer or internet problems as an excuse for missed exams
In other words, technology is fabulous when everything runs smoothly but sucks when it doesn’t work the way you want it to.
Personal stories of tech fails might be perfect examples to help support a personal blog or an opinion essay about the advantages and disadvantages of technology. But if you’re writing a research paper, you’ll need more than personal anecdotes as support for your essay.
So if you’re ready to tackle the topic, here are 10 articles to get you started.
10 Sources on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology to Support Your Essay
If you’re writing about advantages and disadvantages of tech, don’t start writing about the first thing that pops into your mind. While this might be an excellent prewriting strategy, it’s not the smartest strategy to begin your actual paper.
Why? Because the topic is too broad.
Think about how long your list might be if you start writing about all the advantages and disadvantages you can think of. (That was a hint: start prewriting by making a list!)
Once you have a list, try grouping ideas together to focus and narrow your topic. Do you have several points about school, music, medicine, transportation, or commerce? If so, one of these might be the perfect topic for your paper.
In my list below, I’ve divided the articles into three categories: education, the workplace, and health care. Even if you’ve chosen to write about a different focus, don’t automatically dismiss these resources.
Remember, topics can overlap, so health care and the workplace might overlap with each other and with commerce.
4 Articles on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in Education
Article #1: The Disadvantages of Computers in Education
Published by an online-only Seattle newspaper, this article highlights disadvantages of computers in education and learning, including technology problems, handwriting and spelling skills, cheating, and financial concerns.
This article is brief and includes a list of items without a lot of detail. Because there isn’t a lot of detail provided, you might use this source for some basic information to help you focus more specifically on how technology affects education.
Both “education” and “technology” are pretty broad terms, but this article mentions low-income students and computer problems.
Thus, you might focus your paper solely on the problems low-income students might face or on how students might be forced to grapple with computer problems inside and outside of the classroom.
Think you won’t have enough to say about the topic if you narrow it? Check out Pearson, Amy. “The Disadvantages of Computers in Education.” Seattle Pi, Hearst Seattle Media, education.seattlepi.com/disadvantages-computers-education-1390.html.
Pearson, A. (n.d.). The disadvantages of computers in education. Retrieved from http://education.seattlepi.com/disadvantages-computers-education-1390.html
Article #2: Does Technology Belong in Classroom Instruction?
Published in the widely respected and credible Wall Street Journal, this article explores the role of technology in the classroom through two opposing views. The opposing viewpoints laid out could help you form a strong thesis for an argumentative essay.
In favor of tech in the classroom, published author Lisa Nielson works for the NYC Department of Education as its director of digital engagement and professional learning.
Nielson argues that technology improves education and lets student learn more creatively and in ways that aren’t possible without technology.
On the opposing side is José Antonio Bowen, the president of Goucher College and author of a book about taking technology out of the classroom. He argues against having too much tech in the classroom.
He thinks too much tech in the classroom makes it harder for students to focus, turns them into lazy thinkers, and effectively makes them less smart. He says, “Computers can teach us much about human knowledge, but they can’t teach us how to be human. Our phones are not really smart, and they can’t teach us how to be smart.”
This article includes a lot of information and opinion on both sides of the issue, so you could also use it to help narrow your focus. Since it highlights both positives and negatives, you might even decide that a pros and cons essay works best for your assignment.
MLA 8 Citation
“Does Technology Belong in Classroom Instruction?” Wall Street Journal, 10 May 2015, www.wsj.com/articles/does-technology-belong-in-classroom-instruction-1431100454.
Does technology belong in classroom instruction? (2015, May 10). Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/does-technology-belong-in-classroom-instruction-1431100454
Article #3: Technology in Education: An Overview
Published by the journal Education Week, this article includes a discussion of how technology is being used in the classroom and how it’s evolving. This article also links to a set of videos about the subject (also created by Education Week).
Because technology permeates seemingly every part of education today, this article can provide some solid background for your paper to help your audience understand the prominence (and importance) of technology in our school systems.
Want even more ideas about how technology is used in the classroom? Read the example essay The Impact of Technology on the Evolution of Education.
MLA 8 Citation
Herold, Benjamin. Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. Issues A-Z: Technology in Education: An Overview. Education Week, Editorial Projects in Education, 5 Feb. 2016, www.edweek.org/ew/issues/technology-in-education/.
Herold, B. (2016, February 5).Technology in education: An overview. Education Week. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/technology-in-education/
Article #4: The Effects of Integrating Mobile Devices With Teaching and Learning on Students’ Learning Performance: A Meta-analysis and Research Synthesis
You can tell by the title of this article that it means business. This is a scholarly article originally published in the journal Computers & Education.
The article examines the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile devices in learning. The authors conclude that individuals learned more effectively using laptops rather than the smaller, hand-held mobile devices.
If you’re looking for more scholarly articles like this one, check out 5 Best Resources to Help with Writing a Research Paper.
MLA 8 Citation
Sung,Yao-Ting, et al. “The Effects of Integrating Mobile Devices with Teaching and Learning on Students’ Learning Performance: A Meta-Analysis and Research Synthesis.” Computers & Education, vol. 94, 2016, pp. 252–75, doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2015.11.008.
Sung, Y., Chang, K., & Liu, T. (2016). The effects of integrating mobile devices with teaching and learning on students’ learning performance: A meta-analysis and research synthesis. Computers & Education, 94, 252–275. doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2015.11.008
3 Articles on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in the Workplace
Directed at business managers, this article provides four ways to motivate workers. Tech in the workplace can increase collaboration, help managers review performance, provide feedback, and facilitate mobile learning.
If you’re focusing on motivating employees, you might argue why a specific type of tech motivation is the most effective. You might also examine various types of tech motivation techniques to compare and contrast the most effective strategies.
MLA 8 Citation
Straz, Matt. “4 Ways to Use Technology in the Workplace to Motivate Employees.” Entrepreneur, 23 Feb. 2015, www.entrepreneur.com/article/242961.
Straz, M. (2015, February 23). 4 ways to use technology in the workplace to motivate employees. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242961
Included in this article are five advantages and five disadvantages of tech on the job. One of the more unique disadvantages mentioned in this article is the idea that technology can make employees lazy.
Remember what I mentioned earlier about overlapping topics? (Hint: see Article #2.) You might use this source to support the idea that technology can make people lazy in various aspects of their lives: at work, at school, or in relationships.
MLA 8 Citation
Ramey, Karehka. “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in the Workplace.” Use of Technology, 25 Feb. 2013, www.useoftechnology.com/technology-workplace-2/.
Ramey, K. (2013). The advantages and disadvantages of technology in the workplace. Use of Technology. Retrieved from http://www.useoftechnology.com/technology-workplace-2/
Article #7: Technology’s Impact on Workers
Published by the respected Pew Research Center, this article reports the result of a study indicating that, although employers often fear technology will create distractions in the workplace, employees generally feel that they’re more productive with technology.
Workers also report that cellphones and the internet are the top technology tools needed to effectively do their jobs and that they often feel like they’re working more because of these tools.
Looking for another viewpoint on technology in the workplace? Check out this example essay.
MLA 8 Citation
Purcell, Kristen, and Lee Rainie. “Technology’s Impact on Workers.” Pew Research Center, 30 Dec. 2014, www.pewinternet.org/2014/12/30/technologys-impact-on-workers/.
Purcell, K., & Rainie, L. (2014). Technology’s impact on workers. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/12/30/technologys-impact-on-workers/
3 Articles on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in Health Care
This article focuses on mobile technology and the benefits and drawbacks on mental health treatment. A few of the listed benefits include convenience, anonymity, and 24-hour care. A few of the listed drawbacks include questions of effectiveness, privacy, and regulations.
A discussion of various health-related apps and links to additional resources are also included.
This article is published by The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This government website easily passes the CRAAP Test.
MLA 8 Citation
“Technology and the Future of Mental Health Treatment.” National Institute of Mental Health, Feb. 2017, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/technology-and-the-future-of-mental-health-treatment/index.shtml.
Technology and the future of mental health treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/technology-and-the-future-of-mental-health-treatment/index.shtml
Article #9: Online Counseling: Pros and Cons
This article provides a list of benefits and drawbacks to online counseling and is geared toward young people, who are more likely to turn to technology to get help with mental health concerns.
Benefits include accessibility, affordability, and anonymity. Drawbacks include effectiveness, ethical concerns, and lack of verbal and nonverbal cues.
This article also lists national services—such as Lifeline, Kids Helpline, Suicide Call Back Service, and Headspace—that have included online counseling in their services.
If you’re focusing on online counseling, here are just a few potential options:
- A compare and contrast essay to compare the effectiveness of various online services.
- A pros and cons essay to discusses various key points about online counseling.
- An opinion essay about online counseling if you’ve ever used the services.
(Need help with making an outline? Read 7 Essay Outline Templates to Get Your Essay Going.)
MLA 8 Citation
“Online Counseling: Pros and Cons.” ReachOut.com schools.au.reachout.com/articles/online-counselling-pros-and-cons.
Online counseling: Pros and cons. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://schools.au.reachout.com/articles/online-counselling-pros-and-cons
This article states that, while health IT can assist underserved populations by creating cheaper, more efficient services, it can also be a barrier for some populations, such as immigrants who fear giving out their personal information.
The article also includes links to additional articles about health and technology.
MLA 8 Citation
“Health IT Poses Advantages and Disadvantages to Underserved Populations.” TeraMedica, FUJIFILM Medical Systems, 26 Feb. 2013, www.teramedica.com/news/industry-news/emrs/health-it-poses-advantages-and-disadvantages-to-underserved-populations.
Health IT poses advantages and disadvantages to underserved populations. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.teramedica.com/news/industry-news/emrs/health-it-poses-advantages-and-disadvantages-to-underserved-populations
Use Technology to Your Advantage
If these 10 articles don’t provide all the evidence you need to support your essay, check out these additional resources:
- 20 Technology Addiction Articles to Support Your Persuasive Essay
- Effects of Video Games: 15 Articles for a Compelling Essay
For help with the basics of essay writing, check out these articles:
- How to Write an Essay Introduction in 3 Easy Steps
- How to Write a Thesis Statement in 5 Simple Steps
- How to Write a Killer Essay Conclusion
Finally, be sure to take advantage of one important advantage of technology and education: online editing. Submit your paper to let Kibin editors help you revise.