Gen X-ers and the Future of Education: Crucial or Redundant?

Let’s talk about technology in the classroom.

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD
3 min readApr 21, 2023
Photo courtesy of author

“Smartphones must be banned from the classroom!” The experts’ message was clear.

To ensure our students receive the best education possible, any form of distraction must be avoided. This is particularly true for smartphones. We must nurture and protect the developing brains of the youngest generation. The online content and the visuals, sounds, and vibrations of smartphones lower school performance and grades. Also, when the highly addictive devices and their accessories are banned, students are happier and suffer less from stress and depression. So, the story goes.

The students disagree. “The experts — mostly Gen X-ers and Boomers — are wrong.”

The students argue that a smartphone ban feels like going back in time. “Smartphones aren’t the issue; the teachers are. Too many classes are boring. And who wants to listen to a monologue complemented by illegible slides? Smartphones and digital content prevent us from falling asleep during a class. And if smartphone use is an issue, we recommend schools to teach us how to use smartphones wisely.”

The students’ criticism is commendable, but I fear that their comments are in vain. The experienced experts won’t listen. “What…

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Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (law) exploring the collision of life, work, and technology, with a current project in the works - a sci-fi novel.