Thoughts on Tech and Children

My current thoughts with digital technology at the moment revolve around their usage by my own children at home. Specifically, how the existence will affect, for better or worse, their development intellectually and socially. My six-year-old at the moment is more than comfortable with the digital devices available to her (a tablet, two different laptops, and several different cellular devices). My youngest at 3 months, while not adept at using such devices yet becomes easily transfixed on digital screens whenever around.   I am curious as to how technological advances and forthcoming devices change and influence how educators change their practice and pedagogy as the population and likewise, their abilities also change.

 

4 comments

  1. Hi Darren,
    I think your last question is the main reason why I wanted to do a Masters in EdTech. Our students (and children) are growing up immersed in screens– to not adapt to this learning ecosystem was not optional for me. Does that mean that everything I do in my classroom, needs to now be on a screen? Definitely not. But in the same vein, to not take advantage of what technology can afford us, would be a missed opportunity.

    Through my parenting lens, having my own children navigate in this tech-dependent world, is daunting from both a health and safety perspective. I posted this link on Mary’s post, but I think you may be interested as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQx2X0BXgZg
    Screenagers is a new documentary that seems to attempt to answer some of these questions. 🙂 ~Dana

  2. Hi Darren,
    Your reflection reminds me of the research I have been interested in regarding the development of children’s brains. Current research is showing that digital natives brains are actually being hard wired differently than previous generations. Daniel Levitan has some really great research on this. They take in, process, store and retrieve information in a different way. Given these facts we need to consider if they are learning differently are we effective if our teaching stays the same?
    Catherine

  3. Hi Darren, As a preservice teacher educator also, it is interesting to hear new teachers talking about how they want devices off (no more screen time) since they get enough of it from home. Thoughts? Samia

  4. Hi Samia,

    I think allowing the use of mobile devices in the class is a constant struggle even for experienced teachers regardless of the reasons, whether it’s screen time or providing distractions. While the potential in using the technology in class is great, it likely comes down to the educator to ensure that they are being effectively used and where appropriate. I continue to struggle with allowing mobile devices in class but with limitations to hardware availability and software issues, the benefits to using them in class sometimes outweigh the negatives. Just the other day, a colleague showed a phone app that could measure earthquakes. While crude, I’m sure using the app on their phones is more likely to garner interest in seismograms than an simple picture of one.

    Darren

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