I am a school teacher. I teach literature to my students. There are times when students miss their classes and look for something that can be of any help. Some students recently told me about this app called sparknotes. So, I checked the app to see if it has any value for students.
It is no denying that the world has moved on to the digital media. Students are making that shift too. And, I think its all right to change as per the need. However, what to choose is something one should be very careful about. As a literature teacher, I would only like to talk about this subject. Literature is more about self-analysis and inferences. It teaches one to analyze things and find answers.
It is important for students to let their imagination fall into the subject rather letting anyone guide them towards the conclusion. And, this app is pretty much doing the same thing. It is taking away the freedom of expression from students and telling them what things mean in general. I have been teaching students from a long time. I meet students who surprise me with their intellect.
But, this app is making students paralyzed. If I have answers for questions, why would I like to invest time in solving it? Even if it’s about other subjects. Don’t you believe that a student should give time to analyze questions rather than finding the answer in a few clicks?
Moreover, this app is directional. It gives students the definite direction to follow. Even when it’s about mathematics, there are ways to solve one question. If there are 10 students in a class, you can expect at least three deviations. But, with this app, students would fail to think in different ways.
When I used this app, I felt like I was told what to do. Instead of providing the explanations to a scenario, this app lets students to the conclusion directly. I am not against of using apps that provide information. But, those apps that are not worthy should be avoided at all cost.
One student of mine, who excelled at every briefing session, failed to showcase his power of imaginations after he started using this app. Some students are even using it to just pass the exams. Instead of getting into in-depth studies, students use it to learn answers and pass exams.
If this is where it is taking our coming generation to, I completely think that this app is a big No. There are no shortcuts to education. It should be detailed and free of directed paths. It should allow students to explore the horizons and find solutions themselves.
As a responsible teacher and for the betterment of students around the world, I would suggest not to use this app at all. The app says that it is best utilized when used as a supplement. Supplements make students dependent. Many of them even ignore going through the entire chapters thinking that they can make it with the notes. This is a serious problem and everyone should condemn this app.