It’s important that methods in education keep pace with the advancements in technology and take advantage of the achievements of the modern, digital age in a positive and constructive way. A curriculum incorporating technology, if done right, can increase students’ engagement in classes and help them to more easily and effectively adopt new materials.
But what happens when everyone inside a classroom starts using their phones? Kids are moving away from Facebook as parents adopt their own usage and apps are being developed to entice them.
The smartphone addiction problem sounds heavy, yet the behavior that teens display when a parent takes away their game, social media or smartphone is similar to an addict. Anger and emotional violence are often characteristic reactions when a device is taken away.
Teenagers have lower impulse control and are more prone to addiction due to the brain developmental stage they are in. Addiction leads to anxiety and depression, which has doubled since 2007. This coincides with smartphones, social media and games becoming more prevalent. Any one addiction is a potential gateway for other addictions.
Engineered for Addiction
The tech devices that the children use can be filled up with loads of free software that is specifically engineered for addiction. This increases sales in a very competitive market. Teens are being targeted with games and social media and there are many traps using technology that they are naive about. The app designers are consulting neuroscientists and behaviourists to incorporate tricks into their software that will provide an addictive hit of dopamine, similar to a poker machine.
If you try to take that device away from a teen, they can simply say: “But I need it to do my homework.” This is often true, but it gets tricky because no parent wants to constantly monitor their children. However, certain limits are necessary.
Software is a high-sped simulation and designed to be addictive – remember the developers are competing for a sale. The portable device with its likes, comments and fabulous graphics for the games are what has increased the addictive component. We never feel alone, there is always something to fill the space. Notifications are designed similar to the poker machine reward system. It is interesting that Instagram has stopped showing the number of likes on posts to prevent emotional disturbances from jealousy.
In the past, our mind would have time to reflect, reset and recalibrate. What is missing with the constant supply of technology is the natural gap to reset the mind, the empty moments and time in nature as opposed to being continually plugged in.
The Wealthy Have It All
Silicone Valley nannies are instructed not to let the kids use the tech. Those with enough funds can substitute technology with a pony, an overseas trip or afford a nanny. Many families today rely on the two wages of an 80 hour week to pay the mortgage, Technology has become a babysitter with the child or teen being totally stationary. Many busy parents adopt child-centered parenting that rarely says no.
Could this be an incentive for those who have less money to start regarding technology as something useful but, at the same time, something that we shouldn’t overexpose our children to?
Is There An Advantage To Using Devices In Schools?
Most schools require that the students have a computer or laptop. They don’t have textbooks, they get all the resources online and submit their homework in the same way.
There is evidence that if you have computers in the classroom where children can work in groups, there is a benefit in broad-learning type tasks. One-on-one use of devices, however, has no beneficial impact on learning.
A recent study is suggesting all schools should ban smartphones. Some private schools are already doing this. However, technology is embedded in the education system and this is a further challenge. As we’ve already mentioned, the children often need their devices to do homework. Schoolwork needs to be uploaded and downloaded and is very tech-centric. Students tell their parents they need a computer for school, and schools would agree. It is an educational requirement to have a computer, although it may not be as beneficial as some think.
The problem arises because these teenagers need to use electronic devices when their brains are the most susceptible to addiction which leads to anxiety and depression. It is a very big problem, yet these devices are necessary for the class they are attending.
How Do You Constrain the Use Of Electronic Devices?
Although the solution is not ideal, you can have the devices in the central location in the house. There, they will charge and use them. When they are using them for schoolwork, have the children sit somewhere where you can pass at any minute and see what’s on their screens without having to stand over their shoulders.
Furthermore, completely ban the devices during the holidays. There is no excuse for them to use their phones since the school is off. It’s a given that your teenagers will not react well to it, but it’s important to stay consistent.
No social media, no private screen time, no games, no online shopping.
Finally, engage your children in meaningful activities.
What do you think? Can technology in classrooms positively influence teenagers and schoolwork? Can we avoid the problem of smartphone of addiction? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments and don’t forget to check our other articles on the issue.
Hi-tech-Yogi Computers and Yoga
Zoe is a Hi-tech-Yogi, the founder of Computer Coach Australia which provides one-on-one training and support in your office or home. We also provide remote one-to-one training which offers many benefits for people who may be living outside of the area we service. She also is the founder of Bondi Yoga Therapy that helps people manage their health within a digital world. Sitting for hours at a time is the new cancer and technology can be so absorbing that we lose track of time. Zoe as a Yoga Ayurveda Therapist works with people to manage any imbalances in their life. As a Computer Coach we help you save time by teaching you how to use your computer effectively. And as a Yoga Ayurveda Therapist we help people to connect with their body and mind. Call us today to find out more + 61 407 956 071