Technology – Not The Magic Bullet We Were Promised

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With all the studies that show learning from print is far more effective than from screens, why in the world is Frederick County Public Schools still celebrating all the technology they push onto the students.

Most students prefer print over screens as well, and you retain the information you get from a book 30% longer than you do if it’s gained from a screen.  Still our Board of Education rams technology down students’ throats.

The Journal of Experimental Education, came to the conclusion that while “reading books on screen has benefits in some instances, children learn more when they read actual books.” (Scary Mommy website).

There are more studies that show that while there is some benefit to technology in the classrooms, the harm far outweighs the good. Children/teens between the ages of 8-18 spend more than seven hours a day, on average, in front of a screen. Health experts recommend limiting screen time to just two hours per day and for younger kids one hour per day. Still the BoE wants more technology in our class rooms, even as the experts are saying it’s not healthy.

National Institutes of Health did a study on the effects of screen time on young developing brains using an MRI.  They found the following, children that spend more than two hours a day on screens scored lower on language and thinking tests.  They also found that kids who spent more than seven hours showed a thinning of the cortex. While yet another study by researcher Jean Twenge showed strong links between time spent on screens and depression and suicide in kids.

So why does the FCPS still want more and more technology in the classroom? Is it so they can appear to be growing with the times? 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am far from anti-tech, I just believe in, “Everything in moderation”.  Too much of anything isn’t good. There is a reason the top technology executives send their kids to technology free schools, and it’s obvious why.

We cut back on play time in schools and increase screen time and wonder why there is an adolescent obesity issue in this country. We take away personal interaction in schools and replace it with tablets and then don’t know why violence in schools is on the rise.  We have taken the person out of teaching and replaced it with an impersonal, uncaring, cold hunk of technology.

UNPLUG!!!! REVOLT!!!!! Let’s start buying our kids’ BOOKS, real books, made from paper.  BOOKS, no more video games. Ask the Board of Education to limit screen time in schools to three hours.  This is one more hour than recommended, but its compromise. If they don’t, let’s demand it and use the multitude of studies that say less is better to back up our argument. Let’s put the health and education of our children ahead of appearances and big corporations. Let teachers get back in front of the class and talk, I mean actually interact on a personal level with their students. 

Sometimes old school is still the best way to do school.

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