Children and Modern Technology — The Impact of Gadgets on High School Students
Modern children are increasingly finding themselves in a multimedia reality that ‘forces’ them to use the latest technological inventions on a daily basis. It is a known fact that smartphones, tablets, and mobile phones have become their best friends, and even very young children can use these technological means with extreme ease. Parents are rightly worried since they do not understand at what age their children should be allowed to use the computer and if this is a good thing for them. But is it really right for children in kindergartens and primary schools to have such early exposure to modern technology in the classroom?
There are different opinions regarding this issue, and while some argue that it is a good thing, others assert that educators at kindergartens and primary schools should discourage children from using new technologies so that they don’t end up living in virtual reality.
Marc Prensky, a writer, consultant, and innovator in the field of education, refers to such children as ‘digital natives.’ Why? Because they are able to use mobile phones and tablets with incredible naturalness but have trouble dealing with elementary real-world tasks. In fact, almost all contemporary children have a kind of sixth sense with regard to different types of modern technology. Giuseppe Riva, a professor of psychology, presents numerous advantages, but also many risks.
Riva maintains that technology has become part of our daily reality. He claims that teachers should stop children from exposing themselves to violent contexts unsuitable for their age.
How Do Gadgets Impact the Psyche of School-Age Children?
Three or four years ago, kids needed some basic knowledge to interact with the virtual world. Today, things have changed dramatically, and they now can use smartphones and tablets effortlessly. This has been made possible due to touch screen technology, which has rendered the said mobile devices more approachable. As a result, their impact on the psyche of children has also changed. Unlike the computer that requires some technical and linguistic expertise, gadgets give them a feeling of having very user-friendly devices that take care of all their needs. They can as easily load up a YouTube video as buy argumentative essay projects for their classes. Television, with its cartoons that once enthralled generations of kids, has been replaced by more intuitive and personalized experiences.
What Should Educators Do?
On the one hand, tablets and smartphones improve coordination of movements; on the other, they stop students from concentrating on their studies. Educators, with the complicity of their parents, should, therefore, help children understand that gadgets can be used for educational purposes such as learning to read or count. At the same time, they should not forget about other important things, such as playing outdoors or spending time with their family members. They shouldn’t isolate themselves and use these tools the right way. The trouble is that modern technology, on the one hand, helps develop spatial and motor coordination, and, on the other, induces kids to become estranged from everyday reality.
That said, we should not demonize gadgets. If used properly, they can help teachers always stay up to date on the latest achievements in their profession. They can also use them to prepare projects aimed at increasing children’s awareness about various subjects. Nursery school teachers can illustrate the benefits of modern technology while warning kids about the dangers of its improper use. Educators can also conduct projects involving school-age children through various channels. By being creative, they can boost their students’ attention, concentration, and memory.