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There’s been a lot written about how technology is being integrated into classrooms, in order to give kids a more enriching learning experience (also: LASERS!), and it’s all heartening stuff. What’s talked about less is the effect the gadgets and gizmos kids are using in their day-to-day life is having on their school days, which is what a new piece of research centres around– and that doesn’t look so good.
In the firing line is everything from social networks to video games to TV, which teachers have credited for making their students neglect their homework, failing to do their handwriting, and ruining their attention span.
Okay, to be fair, when has anyone enjoyed homework? And is handwriting a big issue when we’re all typing nowadays anyway? And what was that last one? I got distracted by a funny YouTube clip. But there are deeper issues that this study throws up.
Exposure to new media has, according to teachers, had a profound impact on kids’ social development. A large amount of educators interviewed believe that the entertainment media kids consume has a negative impact on their ideas about relationships between boys and girls, their attitudes towards adults, their body image, and can encourage them to engage in anti-social behaviours. Pretty weighty accusations.
It should be pointed out that it’s the teachers who describe themselves as ‘uncomfortable’ with new technology that tend to be bad-mouthing it, so should we take this with a pinch of salt?
The more tech-savvy are quick to point out that ‘social awareness flourishes with students being aware of worldwide issues through YouTube and Facebook‘, and ‘media has helped students gain knowledge, learn how to share information, collaborate with others‘.
What do you think? Does modern media have a catastrophic effect on your kids, academically and socially? Or is it just technophobes kicking up fuss?