Your discussion is based on the assumption that technology does make student life better! Interesting... I guess to echo other editors here the biggest aspect for me is research research and yet again - research. It is so easy nowadays to research and find out information thanks to the internet which makes sharing and accessing of information incredibly easy. Something we all benefit from. Also, the internet does allow us to network and share with other students or "experts" on a particular topic very easily - just think about what you are doing here and how you are using enotes to get views from a wide range of people on this topic!
The proliferation of technological devices raises the dilemma posed by Aldous Huxley in his novel, Brave New World: What will be the affects of science upon the human condition?
When television was a new phenomena, Edward R. Murrow, the renowned journalsit, made the pregnant remark that if used properly this new medium could be wonderful, but he also expressed concern that it could also be misused. Such is the case with all technological devices. In the hands of the conscientious student, it affords him/her the opportunities to learn about so much. However, it can be misused, too, and does contribute to mental laziness as post #5 has pointed out. The loss of the creative imagination seems the greatest sacrifice to technology as there is something already made that one can access.
A conversation among teachers from the Atlanta Institute of Art reveals the difference. They say that students who have learned graphic design and related skills at technical colleges can perform the functions on the computer. But, if they see a real object can they design something by hand? No. Only the true artist can do that as the artist has the concept. This is the loss of all who allow technology to solve problems for them. Their analytical skills and creative skill are not always challenged.
Technology, like with most things, can make a person's/student's life better or worse, depending on what it is and how it is used. In a purely educational sense, technology has vastly improved our quick access to information and a system to organize it, but it has also made us lazy in evaluating that information for accuracy. This is why there are so many Wikipedia entries quoted in research papers - it's the first response to pop up to our search query. Cell phones keep us in touch with other students and at the college level, with the instructor or TA's. Twitter can give us updates and reminders on assignments. We can even use technology to ask for online help with a topic, or a discussion post like this one, fostering the communication and sharing of ideas.
Technology can most definitely make a students life easier for many reasons. First of all, research can be done right from the comfort of home. The internet is a very valuable educational tool. Students can also log on to schools "blackboard" sites and collaborate with other students and teachers through discussion boards, submit assignments, etc.
I think technology has greatly improved organization - which ultimately leads to more success, educationally and otherwise.
Technology allows you to create a schedule or a list of things to do - and then be reminded of when to do it, or that you haven't accomplished it yet. I also love programs like google calendar - my schedule can easily be shared with others in my family and vice versa.
When plans suddenly change, technology has allowed us to make necessary phone calls so that more time isn't wasted.
On the flip side of all these positives, and directly related to them - technology enhances mental laziness, discourages commitment keeping, and takes the blame for many failures.
I think that technology can make a student's life better by speeding up the educational process. Students no longer have to go to the library to conduct research. There are many data bases of journals and research available on line. Students can access curriculum and complete assignments using a computer. They can keep in touch with their teachers and communicate quicker with the aide of the computer. Students can also relax with the aide of a computer. They can listen to music, watch movies, and play games.
Can one argue that it doesn't? I've heard very mixed reactions from students this year after being issued their own laptops.
Some say it is better, they have instant access to things, they don't have to spend time logging in every time they get a computer from a cart, they can take the computer anywhere in their house and work or play on it, etc.
Some say it is worse, they don't like how much time they spend on it and how it feels like it can take over their lives. Some complain that they read less and just don't have much time off-line.
One could argue that is just a matter of self-discipline but it was interesting.
I would say that it does this by making a student's life easier and more fun.
Through technology, a student can do their class work much more easily than before. They can find journal articles online instead of going to the library, for example. They can use word processing programs that make typing papers much easier.
Through technology students can have more fun. They can stay in touch with their friends on the internet or by their cell phones. They can play video games.
So computer technology in particular has made students' lives easier and more fun.
Being a student myself, I think that I can easily attest to this, especially in this day and age where it seems like a majority of learning is done on some form of technology that wasn't here ten years ago. It is both a wonderful and scary time that we live in, because with all the new technology comes repercussions.
In terms of how technology can make a student's life better I definitely think that computers have improved my life. I remember as an elementary school student not ever using computers, and now I use a laptop or desktop every single day, to either type papers, do research, do online homework, etc.
Other technologies can also improve quality of life. Another piece of technology I enjoy is my smartphone. 85% of the time I use my phone for only texting or phone calls, but I do enjoy playing games and using apps for things such as to-do lists, health monitoring, among other things.
Hope this helps!