Good intensions and unanticipated effects: The unintended consequences of the application of technology in teaching and learning environments. Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Nworie, John; Haughton, Noela A


  • The nature of disruptions encountered by classroom teachers is changing. In the past, disruptions were typically students chewing gum, eating or taking naps during class, engaging in acts of incivility including the occasional brawl, and the like. These disturbances, in many ways, pale in comparison to those accompanying the use of technologies in today's classrooms. While the Internet may be a wonderful teaching and learning tool in the classroom, it can also be an obstacle in the learning process. The problems and disruptions include technology-supported cheating opportunities; communications-related distractions from emails, instant messaging, computer games, web surfing, and other "personal projects;" lack of engagement with the instructional setting caused by the substitution of classroom experiences with pre-recorded and downloadable class materials from various sources including course management systems and pod-casting from iTunes; and lately, increasing incidents of bullying and intimidation supported with innovations including the Internet, text messaging, and social network sites. These unintended effects of technology are manifested in higher education, middle and high schools, and even elementary schools. While the focus of this article is on higher education, the description of technology-related disruptions and their consequences may also apply to pre-higher education settings, and thus may carry additional implications for teaching and learning in these settings.

publication date

  • 2008

published in

start page

  • 52058


  • 52