Is it time for a technology curfew?

Posted by Ronald | December 19, 2013  |  No Comment

According to a study by Kaiser Family Foundation, children between ages eight and 18 spend an average of 53 hours a week using electronic media such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, cell phones and video games which leads to lower school grades and students being less happy. Through bullying tactics such as sexting, cyberbullying, etc., a third of middle school and high school students have reported being bullied during the school year. So the critical questions to be asked are: Is it time for a technology curfew? Why are some schools disallowing technology in their classrooms?

While attending the 2013 Blueprint for Excellence National Conference at Walt Disney World Resort, Fla., some of the presenters discussed the advantages of technology being used in the educational environments. Dr. David Walsh, Founder of Mind Positive Parenting noted that “whatever the brain does a lot is what it gets good at doing.” In this technology conscious world, however, Walsh said that four out of five teens sleep with their cell phones near them, and 20 percent of babies born have some type of technology device. Therefore, it is essential to teach children in this information age digital awareness to avoid overuse and misuse of technology such as sexting and cyberbullying.

The Waldorf Schools (WS) in states such as Ohio and California ban the use of computers and other types of technology from the classroom, as well as discourage the use of them in the home. WS’ teaching philosophy focuses on physical activity and learning through creative hands-on-assignments. WS’ belief is that “computers are an essential tool for learning, but not a subject of study in grades 1-8.” According to research, opponents of computers in the classroom convey that these digital devices inhibit student’s interaction, attention span, critical thinking and creative thinking. Whereas, proponents of computers in the classroom cite that technology will help to engage students, supplement learning and prepare students for a 21st century economy.

With the increasing thirst for information, technology is not going away. Having standards for when and how students use or have access to electronic devices are essential. When students spend too much time on the devices or use them for illegal purposes, there should be a technology curfew or ban of use in schools and in the home.

 Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of four books, “Education Questions to be Answered,”  “Current Issues and Answers in Education,”  “How to Eradicate Hazing and “Professional Career Paths.” He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper.  Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at rwh@theholmeseducationpost.com

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