5 Disadvantages of Technology in the Classroom (And How to Overcome Them) - ViewSonic Library (2023)

Though we generally see progress as a good thing, there are definite disadvantages of technology in the classroom. From distraction to reducing face time, EdTech isn’t a magic bullet for every situation. With some awareness, however, most disadvantages can be overcome, like some of the surprisingly old-school thinking that helps with tech disparity.

So read on for some disadvantages of technology in the classroom (and potential solutions).

From apps and e-textbooks to organizational platforms and “gamification,” there’s no shortage of technology in the classroom. But, while EdTech tools can make lessons more engaging and useful for students raised on technology, they can equally challenge teachers and lead to suboptimal outcomes for students. How can teachers get the most out of technology without sacrificing efficiency or engagement?

Here are 5 disadvantages of technology in the classroom and how to get past them for your students.

Distracting Students

Smartphones have a bad reputation in classrooms and there have beenstrong cases for banning them in schools. Research suggests that during class time, when smartphones 42% of the time that students spent on their smartphones in the classroom, it was to text, tweet, or otherwise engage in social media rather than the lesson.

However, bans on devices such as smartphones are unlikely to work as students will inevitably get around them. Also, such bans would be resented by students, who consider the use of technology to be a matter of personal autonomy that should only be regulated when it distracts other students. While teachers can help students learn better self-control methods to help them to regulate their own use of devices, research shows that better lesson plans that promote student engagement have less off-task use of technology.

Therefore, the onus is on instructors to create engaging, inspiring, and stimulating lesson plans that incorporate technology. For example, smartphones can access educational apps that promote learning as well as time management.

Many teachers incorporate digital platforms into lesson plans and find that using social media can actually keep students engaged and encourage classroom participation. Some teachers even create twitter hashtags to encourage comments.

Technology can be used to supplement lesson plans with digital materials, including video, news stories, online discussions, and to encourage participation. Get creative!


Requires Management and Training

The rise of EdTech means that being effective in the classroom requires that teachers are effective on the screen and tech platform. Studies show that three-quarters of teachers say the internet and other digital tools have added new demands to their lives and have dramatically increased the range of content and skills about which they must be knowledgeable, with nearly half saying it has increased their workload.

New tech in the classroom also means needing IT professionals to help set it up, maintain it, and support teachers and students in its use. Clear and transparent communications among administration, faculty, and tech vendors that clarify how adopting a particular device, platform, or program will benefit students and teacher alike, can greatly enhance the use of technology in the classroom, to remove the suspicion that such technology is just “bells and whistles” with little actual value. Teachers also need access to training.

Moreover, institutions can help maximize their technical support staff by finding a less resource-intensive solution. Read 10 Reasons Education IT Administrators Love Interactive Touch Screen Displays.

Leads to Tech Disparity

Tech disparity refers to how much access students have to the necessary devices. The differences in access can be seen between school districts, with more affluent districts having greater resources, but it can also refer to differences among students in the same school, where students from wealthier families having greater access. A recent survey indicates that while 84 percent of American teens have a smartphone, the other 16 percent don’t. Reaching out to that 16 percent is the goal.

Tech disparity also refers to school policymaking and tech management. For example, the above survey also points out that while three-quarters of teachers working in wealthier districts felt that their schools provided adequate training, only half of the teachers in low-income areas agreed. Around 40 percent of teachers in economically disadvantaged areas saw their schools as behind the curve in technology advancement.

Teachers and administrators can take practical steps toward bridging the tech divide. Assuming unequal access to devices, schools can focus on technology that can be shared among classes, for example, shared tablet computers and school computer labs, not to mention school-based Wi-Fi.

Then, there is tech that can be used within the classroom, such as interactive whiteboards and projectors, as well as a digital curriculum that all students can access.

(Video) [WEBINAR SERIES] The Challenge of the Next Normal: The Emergence of a Promising Shift to Hybrid Flex

Bridging the tech divide is not easy, but for a fairer society with equal opportunity, it needs to be the focus of all efforts. (But a good start to fighting tech disparity is a computer lab in school.)

ViewSonic Education Learning Solutions For the Future Learn more >

Cost Money

Nothing in this world is free, and buying cutting-edge electronics for a classroom is downright expensive. While there’s no way to avoid spending money modernizing a classroom, it is at least possible to maximize the total cost of ownership (TCO) by installing devices with longer lifespans and reduced maintenance. Tech with higher upfront costs might actually save the school money as it will face fewer issues and have less downtime while being easier to use. Schools need to assess TCO carefully before choosing purchasing tech.

Moreover, the use of technology should not be confined to the classroom and in fact can be used to streamline administrative systems, cutting costs, boosting productivity, and reducing time wasted on administrative tasks. Cloud computing, for example, offers substantial opportunities for schools to save money. Switching to a digital curriculum eliminates the need to continuously replace outdated textbooks.

Cloud-based computing also reduces the need to keep expensive hardware on-site, which can save in administrative costs, reduce payroll costs (fewer IT techs), and eliminates that 24-hour air-conditioned server room. Also, sharing materials online rather than printing them out saves costs of printers and ink – substantial costs for schools – not to mention all that hard work spent printing.

In short, while technology has obvious costs attached to it, viewed holistically, it can also provide substantial opportunities for cost reductions that more than compensate.

Less Face Time

No amount of technology in the classroom can replace talented, inspired teachers. As the adage goes, any teacher that can be replaced with a tech device probably deserves to be replaced.

Technology is not the solution to ensuring a healthy vigorous learning culture, it is simply a pedagogical tool that is only as valuable as the instructor who wields it. In fact, while billions of dollars are spent on EdTech, countries that don’t deploy tech often have better educational outcomes than countries that spend heavily.

Face to face interactions between teacher and student can help students not just acquire facts, but to understand, interpret, and apply these facts into useful and interesting knowledge. Through face to face interactions, teachers can help students build self-esteem and confidence and emotional maturity. Particularly in disadvantaged areas, teachers can provide a zone of comfort and security, and everywhere teachers can reduce the cyberbullying that so often accompanies social media.

There are lots of ways to synthesize tech into real-world activities, but sometimes teachers just need to switch off the tech and get down to personal interactions. For example, while so much information can be readily accessed on the Internet, so much of that information is dubious at best and sometimes downright malevolent. Teachers need to guide students on how best to identify useful sources and balance differing viewpoints.

Final Thoughts

Of course there will be challenges along the way as we adopt new technologies in education and improve them to suit student outcomes. But the advantages vastly outweigh the disadvantages of technology in the classroom. It is just always important to remain aware of where the latest tech is coming up short and to adjust course for the best possible learning outcome for the students.

There’s no reason to be afraid of EdTech, but nor should we rush blindly into digital transformation. After all, education is all about learning, and we should all be open to the ongoing process of improvement that comes with it.

Want to learn more about implementing EdTech? Check this out:Technology in the Classroom: The Complete Guide. Or go directly to ViewSonic’s technology solutions for education.


edtechclassroom technologyedtech solution


What do you think is the disadvantage of technology in the classroom? ›

Distracting Students

Research suggests that during class time, when smartphones 42% of the time that students spent on their smartphones in the classroom, it was to text, tweet, or otherwise engage in social media rather than the lesson.

What are the disadvantages of technology in teaching and learning? ›

1) it may be distracting to students, 2) it may disconnect students from face-to-face relationships, 3) it may make cheating easier, 4) it may disadvantage certain students, 5) it may cause students to use unreliable resources for learning, 6) it may make curriculum planning more difficult or expensive, 7) it may ...

What are 5 negative effects of technology in communication? ›

Here's what you need to know about the negative impact the digital world can have on your communication:
  • Your Ability to Make Eye Contact Suffers. ...
  • You're Shying Away From Face-to-Face Conversations. ...
  • You're Less Comfortable With Nondigital Conversations. ...
  • You're Shielding Yourself From Both Conflict and Conflict Resolution.

What are two disadvantages of technology? ›

Disadvantages of new technology include: increased dependency on technology. often large costs involved with using the latest technology (especially for small businesses) increased risk of job cuts.

What is the negative impact of technology on children? ›

Technology can negatively affect children's developing social skills, relationships, health, and overall ability to focus. developing their social skills. This can lead to more children being socially awkward, withdrawn, shy, or intimidated by social situations.

What is bad about using technology? ›

Children who overuse technology may be more likely to experience mental health issues, including lack of attention, low creativity, delays in language development, delays in social and emotional development, and addiction to these technologies.

What are the dangers of technology? ›

19 Potential Negative Effects of Technology | Digital Detox
  • Technology affects our sleeping habits. ...
  • Technology leaves us feeling isolated. ...
  • Technology promotes a more sedentary lifestyle. ...
  • Technology is a constant source of distraction. ...
  • Technology leads to neck pain and bad posture.

What is the problem with technology in schools? ›

While this may seem like the future of learning, integrating technology in classrooms has its downfalls. Having almost unlimited access to the Internet, quick messaging, and games distracts students from learning. Also, continuous use of technology hurts eyesight and disrupts the human body's natural rhythms.

What are examples of disadvantages? ›

44 Examples of a Disadvantage
BullyingCommunity Exclusion
Lack of Financial ResourcesLack of Free Time (e.g. working two jobs)
Lack of InfrastructureLack of Rights and Freedom
Lack of SecurityLack of Social Connections & Support
Language ProficiencyLearning Disabilities
17 more rows
Apr 14, 2022

What are the 10 pros and cons of technology? ›

Here are the pros and cons of technology
  • Improves efficiency for Business. The best advantage of any technology is that it increases the efficiency of a business process.
  • Saves time. ...
  • Better communication. ...
  • Reduces cybercrime risks.
  • Cons. ...
  • Extreme dependability. ...
  • Expensive. ...
  • Shortage of jobs.
Mar 19, 2019

What are 3 negative impacts technology has has on modern society? ›

What are 3 negative impacts technology has has on modern society? physical inactivity and obesity. poor sleep quality. social issues, such as social incompatibility and anxiety.

What is an example of negative effects of technology in communication? ›

Texting is devoid of so many important aspects of human interaction! It strips away the inflection of our voice, our body language, our facial expressions, and our ability to assess and respond in real-time as a result of these challenging interactions.

What are 3 negative impacts of technology on the environment? ›

Other detrimental effects include diseases such as typhoid and cholera, eutrophication and the destruction of ecosystems which negatively affects the food chain. Resource depletion is another negative impact of technology on the environment.

How does technology affect your learning? ›

Most notably, technology engages students in simulated experiences and encourages them to practice collaborative decision-making skills. Done right, this academic exposure to technology deepens understanding because learners internalize concepts while acquiring authentic skills.

How do you overcome technological factors? ›

The lack of knowledge regarding new technological innovations is a common hindrance, and it must be eradicated through efficient communication and internal training where members can dispel their doubts and get to know the benefits to the new technology so that it can be used and applied to their own, and the company's ...

What are ways to decrease technology use? ›

10 strategies to help unplug
  • Out of sight, out of mind. Put your phone or tablet somewhere out of reach. ...
  • Change the alert sounds. ...
  • Rise and shine (without your phone or email) ...
  • Say goodnight (without your phone or email) ...
  • Set a good example. ...
  • Keep track. ...
  • Set a timer. ...
  • Be mindful.

How can we improve the use of technology? ›

How to improve your technical skills
  1. Dedicate time to reading around. ...
  2. Identify your favourite tech-related media outlets. ...
  3. Curate your own public profile. ...
  4. Use tools to increase your own efficiency. ...
  5. Analyse what you consume. ...
  6. Start building your skill set. ...
  7. Experiment, experiment, experiment.

What are the main problems of technology? ›

The 10 biggest issues IT faces today
  1. Ever increasing demands for transformation. ...
  2. Customer experience. ...
  3. Growing cybersecurity, data privacy threats. ...
  4. Advancing data opportunities. ...
  5. Maturing the enterprise cloud strategy. ...
  6. Geopolitical impacts on the tech stack. ...
  7. Supply chain disruptions. ...
  8. Cost containment.
Jun 13, 2022

What are the 10 challenges of technology? ›

10 Technology Challenges
  • BIG DATA. ...

How can we overcome technology challenges? ›

Now let's take a look at strategies to help teams overcome challenges of implementing technology in design and construction:
  1. Focus on Impact. ...
  2. Promote Collaboration. ...
  3. Invest in Training. ...
  4. Capture ROI. ...
  5. Promoting Transparency.
Mar 17, 2022

How can we solve technology problems? ›

The 6 Steps to Solving Your Tech Challenges
  1. Step 1: Identify the problem.
  2. Step 2: Find a solution (or many solutions).
  3. Step 3: Implement the solution.
  4. Step 4: Follow up.
  5. Step 5: Confirm the problem is solved.
  6. Step 6: Revisit the problem.

What is the biggest challenge of technology? ›

Technology Sector's Top 5 Challenges in 2022
  1. Security Concerns. Technology is a critical component in making companies more secure. ...
  2. Widening Skill Gaps. Technology has long stood as a valuable tool for helping companies to accomplish goals more efficiently. ...
  3. The Rise of Robotics. ...
  4. Business Continuity. ...
  5. Regaining Trust.
Jan 13, 2022

What are the 4 major issues in information technology? ›

Here are the 5 most common IT problems and how to solve them.
  • Lack of Employee (Internal) Security Measures. Perhaps the most serious technology issue in business is employee security. ...
  • Outdated Equipment and Software. ...
  • New Technology Integration. ...
  • Data Loss and Recovery. ...
  • A Lack of Comprehensive Solutions.

What is the biggest threat of technology today? ›

Related Terms
  • Hacking.
  • Hacker.
  • Phishing.
  • Malicious Software (Malware)
  • Financial Malware.
Sep 20, 2017

What are the 10 disadvantages of computer? ›

Below is given a list of many of the disadvantages of a computer and described what kind of problem you may face.
  • Too much sitting. ...
  • Carpal tunnel and eye strain. ...
  • Short attention span and too much multitasking. ...
  • Potential of loss of privacy. ...
  • Can limit learning and create a dependency. ...
  • Time sink and lots of distractions.

What are the 10 disadvantages of network? ›

Disadvantages of Computer Networks
  • It can lead us to lose access to information very quickly. ...
  • Work-life balance gets changed due to computer networking. ...
  • The cost of computer networking is very high. ...
  • Computer Networking can direct us to various types of distractions. ...
  • It requires a specific type of setup.


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