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As technology continues to grow in society today, it seems to be finding its way into our children’s classrooms. While some technology is helpful, educators are attempting for children to use it more often than hands on play. They want to make it so children are using computer programs against real life experiences, and this is not developmentally appropriate for any age. With technology on the rise, it’s becoming more difficult to stick with traditional play options, even though research has shown the negative effects of technology on young minds. So let’s get into why technology has such a negative impact on our young children.
In an evidence based study, researchers found that while the use of technology was attempted to be used to enhance mental well-being, it could equally be counter-productive. While the internet is a risk within itself for many reasons, in attempt for young ones to use it has shown to be an empty pursuit of anything educational. Such a thing as the internet is actually quite limited, and shows that children don’t benefit from using it. So why have it in the classroom, if it doesn’t provide for your children?
Children rely on their senses, due to the fact that they are stronger and more prominent at a younger age. If you give children technology at home and at school, they’ll begin to depend on that source of technology, especially if it’s appeasing to the child’s senses. Sound and visualizations are naturally very important, but when given an item that simply distracts their minds instead of working it, it because a pointless venture. Technology is something that doesn’t react, or is inactive. This doesn’t prove to be very good for developing physical or emotional experiences.
When it comes to television, it’s almost a given that children shouldn’t spend the majority of their day in front of it. Even for educational programming, learning and development are limited and don’t hold much value against real life experiences. Social experiences with real adults and peers are proven much more effective against a program on television that is supposed to be interactive. This isn’t to say they’re all bad, but knowing which is much more preferable when something better is available.
A cause of this misuse of technology is simply how much it has grown in today’s world. Something new is always arising, one after another. You get a new phone, and not much sooner an even “better” one comes out. Phones are only one example of such things. IPad’s are being used in classrooms, and Smartboards are beginning to take replace activity centers and activities. This takes away from one-on-one communication with the teacher and with peers.
My proposal is to exclude the unnecessary technology used in the classroom (i.e. tablets, touch screens Smartboards, laptops) and simply use more reliable tools. This also includes useful and educational technology, such as digital books, science tools for children, cameras and more. These are things that can be used efficiently later in life, and good skills to learn for future references.
This of course is not a simple solution. It would take a lot of persuasion to simply exclude the newly implemented technology. My other solution would simply be to not use the technology given as often unless otherwise given into lesson plans or curriculum. Naturally the classroom is still run by the teacher, though curriculum is based school wide. I would still choose to run my classroom without the use of the unnecessary, and use only what I would need. This of course is definitely not sufficient because there would still be some hang ups on the new technology. There would be less of what I needed, and I would in the end still have to use what was given to me by the school.
My solution is pretty straight forward. The proposal will hopefully eliminate the distractions and the lack of developmental materials in the classroom. My goal is to use more appropriate tools (such as purely educational iPad’s for children, math games, puzzles, etc.) that actually promote skills and will encourage children to still work together. This expresses the shortcoming of my other solution because my other solution can’t really be a solution at all. It’s simply ignoring the issue until it comes up again. My solution is possible, because all it takes is the proper knowledge and a community of people who care enough to stand up for it. It’s true that technology is becoming important, and it has its merits. For children, however, it was not meant to replace things for learning.
To implement my solution, I would go to conferences, do more research and conduct more studies on its effects on children. This is something that everyone would need to be in on, from members at NAEYC to parents at home. I would also send out surveys and give opinion polls to see how others would feel about my solution, and perhaps how they personally would deal with the issue.
My desired effects are for a new generation not to grow up thinking that technology is something to rely on. I want them to know that their mind and development is the first thing they should rely on. I’m hoping that this next generation of children comes to rely on themselves, and learn through real life experiences. This encourages better building in many areas of their life, and increases their natural skills more so than just speaking, writing, and basic math. If my solution is truly worked with, I think families will begin to see how much technology changes the lives of an everyday person, more so their children. In the long run, I want us all to come back to our roots.
As quoted by Dr. Bruce D. Perry “While technology can help us teach children, in the end our children learn from us.” The same can be said about teachers in the classroom. To depend on technology to provide education for children actually takes away from the experiences children need at an early age. A proposal would be to use better sources of technology that still have hands on applicability. This includes video cameras, microscopes, and digital books. These are the types of things that can positively influence a child and can be used in the classroom, and still be considered technology.
In conclusion, technology is an ever growing thing in today’s world. With this in mind, we can’t let technology replace human interactions with us and children. It’s important for us to find medium ground with technology, and to implement it in a way that is developmentally appropriate. Television, internet, computers, and such things are finding more of a place in our classrooms when they should more or less be put out of the classroom, and only be used as small sources. We’re the ones who should be teaching our children.
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