“Technology can be our best friend and technology can be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.”-Steven Spielberg
We often hear persons talk about technology but, what is it really? Technology is defined as the machinery and devices developed from scientific knowledge.
Nowadays, it seems like these devices have become a way of life. We see where a mobile phone is an additional attachment to the human anatomy since everywhere you everyone seems to be captured by one. I knew it was fast becoming a fact when I even observed preschoolers with their personal cell phones making calls ( I kid you not!). Sometimes it feels like something that wasn’t around from the foundation of time has become something that we seemingly can’t do without. The tablet / iPad follows closely behind where once, children could use their imagination and engage themselves in a world that stimulated their creativity through play. Now, they have the technology to do that for them.
It is no surprise then that the minds of our children cannot automatically detach from technology when they are at school where rules are designed to have them focused on learning. Oftentimes, it is through channels that take a dramatic step backward from the fast-paced life of technology, that simply gives answers at the click of the button. In third world countries, the lack of access to technology on a broad scale can limit the learning of students whose minds have been rewired to access information quickly and without much thought. The disparity between both worlds is great and presents a problem within the educational system, both in academics and behaviour.
Parents, family members and society on a whole, have contributed to fuelling the addiction to technology by using a reward system, exposure, marketing, quiet time from noisy children, etc. They unknowingly create a habit that if left unmonitored, can and in many cases, has turned into an addiction that isn’t easily controlled.
This addiction is then formed and as such within the school setting they may find it hard to engage in mathematical equations without the aid of a calculator or answer questions without Google. They may also sneak to use phones to check their Instagram timelines, Whatsapp messages, or even post on Snapchat. I recently observed some students playing ring games and one from the group instantly took out her phone to Snap. It seemed simply engaging in the memory was not enough since living in the moment, has now become a time for videoing.
How then can we ask students to switch off what has become an uncontrollable habit? Should we even tell them to switch off or should we channel this habit meaningfully?
Tune in next week when we will address these questions…