Too Much Technology And Kids
Last week I wrote about changing technology and how we can often learn from kids as things continue to progress. It is okay to sometimes let them be the teacher and us the student. We can learn many things if we are open to this.
Although kids are more adept at technology in many cases, this can have a negative side if not careful. Kids are spending so much time on technology nowadays, especially since the pandemic and moving to online learning, they can become addicted to the technology and the feeling of excitement it can provide. It can become a problem if it interferes with social and emotional connections. It is important to find a balance between online and offline activities and interactions.
Technology Balance Is Important For Kids' Mental Health
Social interactions and group activities are still important. A fellow teacher told me the other day that she was very concerned about some of her students who were not engaging in the group activities and participating in the centers activities the same way as they used to. She was worried that they were getting too much stimulation from technology. Many of her students indicated that they stay up late playing video games or they get up early and play before coming to school. She noticed that they were less attentive and often very tired as a result.
Because our kids get so much more stimulation at home, it is important to provide as many opportunities as possible to remain unplugged at school. Hands on activities, community building games and projects, active games and even walks are some ways we can do this. Sometimes, good old paper and pencil activities can work well also.
Pre-pandemic, getting to do digital activities was a treat and it was used sparingly. Kids were excited to have the chance to interact with these activities. Nowadays, digital activities don't have the same enticement factor and they can actually sometimes be considered "boring" by our students because they have become used to action packed activities.
When we choose to use digital activities, we need to make sure that all the kids are actively engaged in them. They don't need to be fancy, but they do need to have value. If kids don't engage, then we need to find other ways to help them with their learning.
Technology Balance Is Important For Kids
This doesn't mean that using digital materials and technology shouldn't be part of the school day, just be careful about how much time is spent using it each day. There are many different positive reasons to use technology. Technology opens up different ways of portraying knowledge, allows for differentiation of material, and opens up access to more resources and information.
Finding a good balance will help with your kids' mental health and with community building in the classroom. I would love to hear ways that you have created a balance with technology in your classroom.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.