Electronics in the Classroom; How Much is Too Much
By Bob Branco
March 14, 2019
I have said this before, but I think it’s appropriate for me to say it again here based on this topic. Though modern technology is fascinating and helps many of us accomplish things in a manner that we never have thought of before, I believe that in some way, this technology may result in our downfall as a society.
I always believed that the more we exercise our minds in order to solve problems, create new ideas and analyze situations, the better-rounded we would become. When I was in school, I had to think about everything I did. I learned a lot of mathematical rules and applied them myself. It wasn’t easy at times, but I worked very hard, and received good grades in math. I learned the basic rules of proper grammar and became a good writer as a result. I did not fall into the social media trap, surrounded by codes and new forms of abbreviations. Good writing is what it is, and we learned the basics.
What am I getting at here? I wonder if young children should have complete access to modern technology in the classroom. When I ask this question, I am not suggesting that teachers not introduce this technology to the kids. I am talking about how it’s taken advantage of and used for the wrong reasons. Can you honestly tell me that children never use technology in school for reasons that teachers aren’t aware of? Don’t you feel that children in a technological environment aren’t exercising the human mind the way we did before the evolution of this technology? With modern technology, everything is done for a child, including math problems, proofreading, spell check and financial transactions. Why, we don’t even have to learn how to make change anymore when handling money. Machines do it for us.
While this modern technology is convenient and fascinating, how does it help a brain that is still developing? I wonder about that all the time, especially when children aren’t socializing as much as they once did because they are so preoccupied with their technological devices. In the past 5 years, I probably saw a child over the age of 7 playing in my back yard about 6 times. Prior to that, kids were outside all the time, learning how to be kids.
Though I’ve never been a father, I can tell you with a lot of confidence how I would handle technology with my children. To begin with, I would not give my child a smart phone until he was at least 14 years old. Before I would allow him to bring it to school, I would make sure I could prevent him from running up my bill. Aren’t parents of 14-year-olds responsible for the financial payments for such devices? I’m not suggesting that adolescents can’t have their own bank accounts, but how many of these adolescents are capable of managing payment plans or always recognizing when not to run up a bill by using too many apps or making too many long distance calls. Parents are responsible for minor children, legally or otherwise. That’s how it is.
School systems should figure out a way to place restraints on the use of technology in a classroom while educators should always consider how a young brain is still developing. Though I am proud of the technology that I own today, I am also proud that I made it through school without it.
About the Author
Robert T. Branco resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and is the author of five self-published books. He is a community organizer, tutors persons with visual impairments, has written columns for local and international organizations, and publishes a monthly online newsletter, The Consumer Vision. Bob’s website, with full information about his books, is http://www.dldbooks.com/robertbranco/.