The Negative Influence Of Information Technology On Child Education

The significant impact of information technology on child education has been the subject of debates in receent times. 

Many studeies have been carried to measure the impact of information technology on child education. They just really want to find out if it is really worth the hype.

If you travel down memory lane; you will realise that a lot has changed.  

Before the intoduction of information technology  and the internet as a whole, child education was a completely different process.

Children created their own form of play that was free and often without interruption.

It was easy for children of the older generation, to connect with friends and family members. Families came together to eat and talk about their day, this act created room for bonding.

However, child education in these mordern days has been altered. The internet boom has seen families and schools of today embrace the infusion of information technology in the learning process.

The significant impact of technology has affected young children and teenagers a great deal and a lot of teachers and parents are in denial about the negative influence of information technology on child education.

Young children opened to violence through TV, and video games are in a high state of adrenaline and anxiety, as the body does not know that what they are watching is not real.

Children who misuse technology report persistent body sensations of overall “shaking”, increased breathing and heart rate, and a general state of “unease.”

------- Huffingtonpost.com

We can’t ignore the positive impact of information technology on child education, since its introduction, it has improved the way children learn and has helped them develop.

Nevertheless, if not used appropriately it can cause a lot of harm than good to children.

This article aims to discuss the negative influence of information technology on child education.

It will highlight the information and technology gadgets children quickly get addicted to and also address the adverse effects these gadgets have on the academic achievements of children.

It also highlights the strategies that can be adapted to mitigate the adverse effects of information technology on child education.

Children in the 21st century are quickly addicted to the internet and a lot of digital gadgets. The reason is not far-fetched; they are born in the digital age.  

Most of what these children are exposed to on the internet is likely what they will imitate.

In developed schools, children make use of computers, projectors and other forms of digital applications. 

Likewise, at home, they use their mobile phones, Ipad and video gadgets etc. Majorly things they see around them.

The most common information technologys gadget children quickly get addicted to include: smartphones, Ipad, video games and laptops.

Research conducted by Common Sense Media revealed that there has been an increase in the use of these internet enabled gadgets in the last two years.

Another study work by Michael Cohen Group discovered that 60% kids under the age of 12 play on a portable screen often, while 38 percent play very often.

[See table below] Devices have become the preferable toys of a younger generation.

Now that we have highlighted the major internet enabled gadgets children tend to be addicted to, the next thing is to discuss the adverse effects these gadgets have on the child’s education.  

There are many effects of information technology on child education. They include the following:

Childhood Obesity

There is an increase in childhood obesity, and all the blame can’t just turn to the food we consume. 

Yes! Diet plays a vital role in weight gain, but it isn’t the only factor that contributes to heaviness.

A sedentary lifestyle also contributes to childhood obesity.  Children who spend the majority of their time playing in front of screens rather than outside the playground do not burn the calories they take in.

This is the reason it is crucial for parents and educators to encourage children to play more.

Early Childhood educators’ role is to help young children develop the right skills, i.e. Cognitive and Character skills that will assist them in achieving total excellence in every aspect of their lives.

Less Sleep

Gadgets addiction can disrupt a child’s sleep. Young children that spend a lot of time gaming find it difficult to sleep early. 

From research conducted by Penn State College of Medicine, kids who played video games or watched TV before bed got about half an hour less sleep compared to the ones who didn’t.

However, the kids who spent time in front of smartphones and other computer screens suffered the most; they got an hour less sleep compared to the others.

These stats reveal the negative impact of information technology or the internet has on child education.

Information technology on child education

The research also indicated that the use of phones (waking up to reply to an instant message) was correlated with the other applications of technology, which may have adverse effects on the child’s sleep pattern.  

This can affect their ability to learn and understand.

The light from electronic devices affects young children, and teenagers sleep more than it even disrupts adults.

In an article in Washington Post, the researcher pointed out that blue light which comes from smartphones prevents melatonin, a hormone which is associated with nighttime.

If this behaviour becomes constant, it will affect the child’s academic achievement and performance.

Extreme Brain Development

During early child development, the brain triples in size and develops continuously until adult years.

Studies have shown that too much use of gadgets by young children may negatively affect the way their brain functions and may cause attention deficit, cognitive delay, reduced learning and affect their ability to self-regulate.

This is a very significant effect of information technology on child education.


Depression & Distractions

With the introduction of apps like Instagram, Snapchat or Vine; the younger generation is bombarded with a lot of distractions.  

The fact remains that getting too attached to such applications to the point of fascination is unhealthy.

A lot of youngsters compare their lives on such platforms with other people, and this can lead to anxiety and cause depression.

It was recently discovered, that youngster and even adults experience envy of the activities of their friends on social media, and if not handled carefully can lead to depression.

A depressed mind is one that cannot learn. Of all the negative impacts of information technology on child education, this is the one that concerns parents and teachers the most.

Lack of Socializing/ Communication

information technology on child education

This table is just a suggestion from the freemake.com. However, you are free to set your limiting view times for your children.  

Encourage your kids to spend time studying; you can assist them with their assignments; also encourage outdoor fun activities.

By doing this, you can mitigate the negative effects of information technology on child education.

Try Application before Recommending It

It is essential for parents and teachers to try out apps before recommending them to students and children. 

By trying applications, you have a better understanding of how to use them, and you can enlighten young children about the usage of such applications.

If they encounter any issues or challenges with the app, you can assist them.

Teach Accountable Usage

As teachers, educate your students on the amount of time, they should spend using gadgets. 

You should also let them know about the consequences of paying a significant amount of their time using information technology.

Teaching accountability about the use of devices should not be left to just the parents alone; the school also plays a significant role as well.

Offer Substitutes to Technology

Aside from using gadgets in the classroom to teach and tutor; teachers should engage students in other fun learning activities that do not involve the use of technology. 

Greensprings School has been able to achieve this by providing a well-rounded quality education successfully.

Students at the school are involved in extracurricular activities that help their social, emotional and physicals skills.


Be an example

Children gravitate towards the example you set for them. Their action most times is shaped by the behaviours of their parents. Don’t think your child is not observing your every move or attitude. 

Most parents are guilty of spending a lot of their free time using their phones or tablet - this should be reduced. Instead, spend time bonding with your child and assist with their assignment and practice test.

By doing this, you will help them focus their attention on their studies, and this positively affects their academic achievement.

If parents and educators can set the right balance and standard in the way young children make use of information technology devices, then they will be able to conquer the negative influences it brings.

Finally, it’s important to come together as parents, teachers and therapists to help society “wake up” and see the devastating effects technology is having not only on our child’s physical, psychological and behavioural health but also on their ability to learn and achieve academic excellence.

While technology is a train that will continually move forward, knowledge regarding its detrimental effects, and action taken toward balancing the use of technology with critical factors for development, will work toward sustaining our children.

 

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About the Author Greensprings School

We have over 30 years of promoting lifelong learning in an open and caring atmosphere that motivates students to be confident and responsible global citizens.

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