Education & Training

Children and Technology – Pros and Cons

Technology is wonderful! It has helped in so many ways to improve people’s lives. This article describes the pros and cons of children using these technologies.

Technology has come a long way. Cell phones, computers, smart boards, video games, and just about anything you can think of, we did not have. We played with our friends outside and at each other’s homes. Too many kids are inside on their devices instead of playing outside and communicating in person.

Don’t get me wrong, technology is wonderful! It has helped in so many different ways to improve people’s lives. However, it doesn’t mean that a six-year-old needs to sit with an iPad for hours.

There is a fine line between children using technology to learn (and yes have fun) and parents using it as a babysitter.

“Kids need to learn how to use computers and other technology as they will be expected to know how at an early age” Lindsey Carter, an editor at paper helper, declares. It will be their future, so teaching it when they are young will help them in school and beyond.

Pros:

  • Hand eye coordination. Playing games like online math games and other games just for fun helps.
  • Physical activity. We have some brutal winters here in Wisconsin, so there has to be some way that kids can get the exercise that they need. Wii has so many games that kids can move to. Most gaming systems have games that encourage kids to move!
  • Can talk to people “face to face” that live away from you.
  • Understanding other cultures. The internet is a wonderful place to learn about people all over the world. The world is truly at your fingertips!
  • Teach cause and effect. Kids love to push buttons.” What happens when I do this? “
  • Easy access to information. Much better than having an encyclopedia!
  • Cell phones can give parents peace of mind. They can talk to their kids anytime, and most phones have GPS tracking.
  • It’s just plain fun! Sometimes it doesn’t have to be all learning. Kids should be able to have fun too!

Cons:

  • Sleep problems. Kids don’t get as much sleep as they need. If your kids are using a computer, tablet even TV, it can be stimulating and sleep problems may occur.
  • It inhibits social interaction. So many kids, teens, and adults spend too much time on their phones, computers, iPad. Kids need to be outside playing and learning how to socialize and interact with their peers.
  • Not enough hands on. Young children love to touch everything! This is how they learn about the world around them. They can’t do that on a screen.
  • There may be a sensory overload. If they have too much dependence on computers, they may have a tough time paying attention to a teacher.
  • Inappropriate content. Be careful what your child can and cannot watch. Parental controls are a must. Kids are curious and they may end up viewing things that they should not see.
  • It may hurt their school work. Children would rather play than do their school work. This just gives them another excuse not to do it. Limit their screen time!

Technology at Schools

In my classroom, we all have iPad minis, and TV time is limited to just 1/2 hour per day. I use my iPad to teach letters, numbers, shapes, music and anything else I can find to help them learn in a fun way. It is a treat for them when we sit down and use it. In the older rooms the kids get to use it on their own. There are many devices available in the market for kids with pre-loaded educational content. Read LeapFrog Tablet review to know about some of these educational devices.

There are quite a few schools that use technology as great tools. My daughters high school uses smart boards which helps both teachers and students. They have them in all the schools in the district. At the beginning of the year, all students get an iPad (5th and 6th grade) and chrome books for 7th – 12th grade). They use them for homework and all assignments for every class can be accessed. They are also encouraged to e-mail their teachers with questions. It gives an opportunity to shy students to start discussing interesting controversial topics. Besides, some assignments in high school are also done on the computer and sent to the teacher via it.

This is where I love to see technology grow. It gives students more tools to be able to succeed.

It all comes down to moderation when it comes to technology and children. Get out and have fun with your kids!

About the author: I’m Hannah Butler, an English teacher. Besides, I like writing so that I devote my spare time to working for Write My Paper co. In this case, I have a possibility to share my experience with other moms and teachers.

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