Are the benefits outweighing the downsides of potentially excessive use of these devices by younger and younger children?
I have three kids and they love their tech tools, but I worry about the possible effects of electromagnetic radiation, and about the way in which time spent with these devices takes away from time they could be spending in more active pursuits. I also see skills and learning coming from their use of these tools. While I am clearly an advocate of technology, I also recognize that there are down sides and trade-offs that come with these advances. This guest post from Daniel Kimball reflects those realities and I look forward to hearing what readers think about this modern day dilemma. – K. Walsh
Digital devices are all the rage among young people today, across all ages. Tablets top the youngest student’s wish lists, pre-teens crave smart phones, and high school students would love to have both plus a laptop computer! MP3 players and other electronic devices are also widely used by many of today’s students.
Are digital devices plugging our children into experiences that actually fuel their creativity and make them consider the world beyond their neighborhood or are they robbing our children of some of the joys of childhood? A rewarding childhood should include experiences like climbing trees, playing tag, selling lemonade and daydreaming – are these still quintessential experiences for many of today’s youth or are they too glued to their small screens to partake in these types of activities?
Let’s consider some of the pros and cons of the digital age as it reflects in the developing hands and minds of today’s young people.
PROS include …
- Smartphones Can Give Parents Some Piece of Mind
- Every School Supply List Should Include a Computer
- There’s an Awe-Inspiring Online World to Discover
- Young Music Fans Can Access More Than Just The Top 40
- Socialization & Social Learning
CONS include …
- Health Risks Associated with Digital Device Usage
- Exposure to Child Predators and Inappropriate Content
- Once Posted, Always Online
- Digital Devices May Be a Mind-Numbing Distraction
So, do the pros outweigh the cons? This is still a topic that we understand little about. Surely technology opens up an amazing world of learning and productivity to today’s young students, but there are clearly dangers and legitimate concerns surrounding the use of these tools, and what constitutes too much use. It will probably be years before we start to really understand the impact of some of these drawbacks and potential issues. In the meanwhile, these tools are here to stay for the near term, so we should monitor their use and educate students on how to use them wisely without overusing them.