Over-Stimulation!

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This post will reveal my tremendous concern with the over use of technology with our youngest learners. It is a concern as a parent and an educator.  This overuse could impact my child’s developing brain and impact the clientele that I work so closely with!

As a mother, I always try to do my best when raising my son. The television is something I control and keep to a minimum. Last year, a fellow educator was talking about technology and television. She said, “Isn’t it amazing how young children (referring to children under the age of 5) know how to turn on the tv, download a game on a phone, unlock iPads and play a show!” Inside my head I said, “Yes, but it is sad! Sad a young child has that much experience using devices they know how to navigate them with such precision!”

I know that technology should has its place, but at this point in a young child’s life it should have a very small place! When my 3 and a 1/2 year old son wants to watch a movie, I always have an internal battle. “If he is watching a movie he is missing out on playing. I can’t let him miss out! Wait! It’s just Aladdian. I should let him! No, I shouldn’t!”  I go back and forth with myself. In the end, my choice is no tv or I allow a short period of time (10-20 minutes). This latest MindShift blog post has me thinking that I did right by not allowing TV time for my son before the age of 2 and affirms that I should continue to keep the screen time to a minimum!

In the article it states, the average preschooler watches 4 and 1/2 hours of televisions a day! As an educator, all the research on technology has me thinking. How does an educator adjust his/her teaching to accommodate for a brain over-stimulated by excessive use of technology?

Here is a link to the MindShift post:

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/02/why-slowing-down-stimuli-to-real-time-helps-a-childs-brain/

Another informative article on technology:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/10-reasons-why-handheld-devices-should-be-banned_b_4899218.html

Technology and the Impact on Our Students

Last week, I found a posting on Facebook of an article from Huffington Post titled “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12” by Cris Rowen. First, I read this with my mommy hat, but I quickly jumped to wearing my teacher hat. For the most part, technology usage by our students is out of teachers’ hands. But overuse of technology does impact the student we teach. Below is a snapshot of the “reasons” to ban handheld devices.

1. Rapid brain growth: Excessive exposure is “associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increase impulsivity, and decreased ability to self-regulate.”

2. Delayed Development: 1 in 3 children enter school developmentally delayed. This delay greatly impacts their overall academic success.

3. Epidemic Obesity: When a device is allowed in a child’s bedroom it increases the occurrence of obesity by 30%.

4. Sleep Deprivation: 75% of 9-10 year old children are sleep deprived due to their excessive use of technology.

5. Mental Illness: Excessive use raises the rate of depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, ADD, autism, bipolar, psychosis and problem behaviors.

6. Aggression: Due to the aggression viewed on technology, the U.S. has determined that media violence is a Public Health Risk because of its effects on children’s aggression.

7. Digital dementia: Excessive use causes brain pruning! Need I say more?!

8. Addictions: Parents who excessive use technology reduce the relationship they have with their children. Reduced parental relationships cause an increased risk of addiction.

9. Radiation emission: Wireless devices have been classified as a category 2B risk (possible carcinogen).

10. Unsustainable: “Children are our future, but there is no future for children who overuse technology.”

As educators, how do you think excessive use of technology impacts our teaching? Can we do anything about the use of technology in our students’ homes?

Here is the link to the entire article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/10-reasons-why-handheld-devices-should-be-banned_b_4899218.html

Row, Chris. “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12”.  Huffington Post. March 6, 2014. online. March 13, 2014.