Modern Technology and its Place Within the Classroom
Posted on 4th March 2020 at 11:32
According to a recent survey carried out on behalf of the music streaming company ROXI, children are spending 23 hours per week on smartphones and other gadgets, equating to twice as much time as they spend conversing with their parents.
We cannot deny the necessity of being technology savvy in modern society. We now rely on our mobile phones for far more than staying in touch with our friends and family. In almost every profession, computer skills are a must. For many of the older generations, these skills had to be learned and improved over time. Yet, for the youngest generations, navigating technology is learned almost intrinsically, with up to 82% of 5-year olds spending over 9 hours a week online, and 42% owning their own tablet! It is therefore unsurprising that concerns are arising about the diminishing quality of handwriting, damaged attention span and lack of creativity among young children. The question is then posed, should screens have a place in the classroom?
We can confidently say that there are benefits to using technology to facilitate learning; a plethora of exciting and interesting online resources, access to knowledge instantaneously, minimising tedious tasks and saving time. However, it has been observed that the increased use of screens in education can have a negative impact upon students. Without adequate pen to paper action, handwriting and spelling can suffer. We must ensure that children are still able to practice handwriting efficiently, without relying upon a keyboard to form words and spellchecker to correct errors. As for Mathematics, wider access to online calculators enables students to become complacent with calculations. Exam technique is also compromised, as students less frequently stream their workings out onto paper, which is required to access the higher marks in an exam.
In addition to academic problems, the overuse of technology can also be seen to stint a child’s imagination and creativity. Children have become so accustomed to playing games and using social media online, that they are losing the ability to entertain themselves without a screen in front of them. In past generations, boredom was something that resulted in playing outdoors and inventing new games with friends. Now, children are unable to cope with boredom and instead crave continuous stimulation from their technological devices. This lack of childhood ingenuity can impact a child’s social skills and behaviour, as well as impairing their creativity.
Nowadays we can instantly communicate with whoever we want, at any time; be that as it may, communication problems can arise with increased technology usage in education. With most homework now being set through online portals, and as online tasks, parents are becoming increasingly frustrated and confused whilst trying to track their child’s learning and progress. Furthermore, within the classroom itself, teachers are facing frustrations of their own, as students often find themselves distracted by their phones during lessons. The distractions posed by smartphones etc. is causing a breakdown in communication between the teacher and their class.
What can we do?
Technology does have its place within education, and it is important to enable our children to enjoy the benefits of modern technology in and out of the classroom. However, we must also encourage our children to experience as much screen free time as possible, to help them develop their imagination and encourage a healthy education. Here at Marvellous Minds we provide a safe and nurturing screen free environment, facilitating our small group tuition classes and ensuring an optimum space for learning. We pride ourselves on offering interactive and engaging lessons, without relying upon computer screens. We are passionate about providing a space where children can escape screens and really delve deep into their learning experience.
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