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The Negative Impact Of Unstructured Technology Use By Children

1220 words - 5 pages


According to CNN, 90% of all American children right now have an online footprint by the time they are two years of age, (Clinton & Steyer). The most crucial parts of a child's learning development occur in the preschool through early elementary years. Norms of problem solving, cognition, and social interaction are picked up. Given the statistic that children are introduced to electronic use well before the age of four, preschool age, there are repercussions to this marrying of young malleable minds and unstructured use of electronics. The effects of children using electronics are: weakened critical thinking skills, isolation from real-world social interaction, and lack of comprehension in understanding concepts or lessons. Although an evolving world of electronics seem to make teaching and learning easier, digital platforms are already a major distraction outside of the classroom and only support the behavior inside.

Children are taught to find answers using search engines like Google. Encyclopedias are almost like thing of the past, as many do not either no how to use them or want to. When an answer to a question is as easy as clicking a few buttons, it is easy to forget it, because it didn't take much work for the brain to find it. In other words, there is no reinforcement of information that is so easily found. This is not helpful, because children are not retaining knowledge, and they are not thinking about where it came from or what it may mean. In a study conducted by the University of Maryland, children who participated were typing in questions blindly without even thinking about them (Olsen). What is more is the fact that in the New York Times article in which the study was discussed, it is stated that children are mirroring the behaviors of educated adults on Google. This is where the structure does not exist. There are no rules or restrictions to Google. Children sit in front of a computer and search at their leisure, this is the sort of behavior that promotes isolation from interaction.

Isolation. Not talking to a single soul while being engaged in a digital world, is the way society sees “tweens” sitting in a Starbucks. They are making full use of their cellular phones while on Facebook and Twitter which are social media outlets that are anything but face to face, a social activity. The behavior that leads up to this is what is learned in schools and it surrounds technology use, in our younger generations. Educational institutions are looking to redesign their curriculum with the integration of tablets for personalized learning. The message here conveys personalized learning is the key to having a successful student, but in reality it promotes isolation. For if every child gets a tablet they are learning by themselves, and not engaging with other students about what they learn. This is isolation. Back to Facebook and Twitter, chatting face face interaction can be completely avoided. There is no structure to the way...

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