Monday, August 19, 2013

Should We talk about This?

I've been thinking a lot about screen time lately. A new book outlines the dangers of such a commonplace stimulating entity to any of us, but particularly to children. It seems that such a regular intense experience can become addictive.

No shit.

It also seems that the quick cuts from image to image and topic to topic may contribute to the rise of attentional issues we see in our citizens, both child and adult.

Again, is anybody really surprised?

As an educator, I have definitely exploited the engagement and convenience that technology offers. I have successfully structured assignments intentionally mindful of those qualities. In the last few years, I have received some push back, though, from families who would like to limit their children's screen time. I have responded to them just as I have accommodated households without internet access-- by offering minimum requirements that can be met at school.

My assignments are usually limited to some sort of prompt and then the opportunity to share responses and reply to peers. In the last few years, my students' enthusiasm for such tasks has been on the wane, even as their parents' protests have grown. The kids want even more bells and whistles while their parents wonder what's wrong with good old pencil and paper.

My prediction? This will be a pivotal issue for human beings. Our technology is changing us, but exactly how so and to what end remains to be seen.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post! Bittersweet.

    Bitter because its bitterly true that TV and small screens like ipads and phones have been shown to be like poison to developing minds. Yes, we see an unstoppable trend in the public schools which pushes this "learning" media on kids even in preschool. I've written about this on my blog..

    Sweet-- because you illustrate an encouraging example of parents waking up pushing back and demanding to unplug these hazards from their children's minds.

    I hope more parents continue to join this movement. I pray it will lead to the protection of children as we strive to eliminate all hyped and needless technology from their lives until they at least reach the age of 10

    I see a return of paper gradebooks in the future , too! ;-)