Struggling to reduce screen time for your child? Is social media making your teens depressed? Finding students overwhelmed with online learning? Here are some easy and successful tips on how you can help kids avoid the bad effects of technology!
So, what are the good and bad effects of technology in education? 🤔
The Good Effects
Minimising Learning Gaps
Can you imagine how students would have continued learning, if the world would have experienced covid-19 twenty years ago? It could have been impossible!
That is why technology is a saviour for student learning in these times. 💪
Through lockdowns and social distancing norms, tech has allowed students to stay safe in virtual classrooms and continue with their lessons. While accessibility to tech remains a concern for many students, for others tech has allowed them to minimise their learning gaps.
Many teachers have seen that incorporating technology in their lessons has allowed them to move away from the didactic “lecture style” method of teaching.
It’s given momentum to a range of more innovative and immersive styles of teaching :
Hybrid and blended learning have a number of benefits – like allowing students to become independent learners, showcase their collaborative capacity with peers, upskilling students and even building resilience in them. In some cases where teachers have been innovative, blended learning has even strengthened student relationships in these isolating times! 🤝
Another recent teaching style aided by tech is Microlearning, which allows students to learn in short bursts through various digital models. Microlearning not only improves school success but can also benefit student careers!
👉 Encouraging Digital Creativity
If technology is part of lessons, teachers are more likely to encourage digital creativity in students. This is crucial for young people as according to recent research there is already a “creative digital skills shortage in a number of key creative industries, which leaves this generation, and the UK economy, poised to fall behind.”
Besides, digital creativity brings to academics greater opportunities for art and play, which are powerful ways of learning. 🎨
The Bad Effects
Overuse Drains Energy
Have you noticed that after a long session in a virtual classroom students might appear drained or cranky? This is because online learning overwhelms students if there are long hours of screen time. 🤯
This is because in regular classrooms students are able to communicate with teachers and peers through body language and tone of voice. In a long virtual classroom, much of their energy is used infilling non-verbal communication gaps!
Shortens Rest-Time For The Brain
Ideally, for every one hour on screen, our brain needs an hour off-screen to rest.
If students don’t take adequate breaks from screens, it will affect their focus and motivation to learn. This is because the blue light of screens can tire your brain. It needs the soft sights of nature – clouds, leaves, trees – to recover. 🏞
That is why we highly recommend parents support the benefits of outdoor learning in schools and engage in outdoor activities for learning with students themselves!
What are the negative effects of technology, outside of education, on kids?
Depression From Social Media
Studies show that like adults, being overconnected on social media causes depression amongst kids and teens too. 😕
It’s worse for students as most young people have a growing and fragile identity, with less practice on how to self-soothe when they are unhappy.
Increased Concern On Cyber Safety
It’s difficult to regulate the use of technology during a pandemic, as like adults, students need it both for their school work as well as to keep in touch with their peers.
Which means they are more susceptible to being unsafe online.
How do you avoid the negative effects of technology? 🤔
Like most things in life, technology harms us only when we fail to use it in moderation.
Here are some simple steps that can help students (and parents!) regulate their usage of tech in healthy ways :
Making time, space and usage boundaries for technology allows students to prevent technology from consuming their entire day, and protect quality time they can spend away from it with family.
Some common boundary rules include :
- No devices after dinner time or before breakfast.
- No devices in the bedroom or bathroom.
- Not using devices for multiple tasks like studying and gaming at the same time.
Though for students to follow these boundaries, parents need to follow the boundaries themselves. Which ultimately leads you to be a stress-free digital parent!
Schedule ‘No Screen Time’
Scheduling “no screen time” can look like going for a walk in the neighbourhood with your child or sitting in the living room and reading together. 📕
Students are more likely to follow “no screen time” if parents consciously carve it out in their schedule. They will also enjoy this time if parents engage with them through it!
Communicate With Students
As students get older it’s difficult to get them “unhooked” from tech.
So the best way to encourage them to spend less time on screens is to have a conversation with them about the harmful effects of technology.
Though be sure to engage them in a discussion. As adolescents and teens will not listen if they are being “talked at” and not “talked with”. 🗣
Practice Cyber Safety
There are a number of ways parents can ensure students are safe online.
Some of the most common techniques are using parental control for younger students with communication, engaging with students’ online lives, making screen-time a shared family experience and being part of students’ social media networks! 👫
At GoStudent, we optimise online tutoring support so students can spend more of their time offline! See for yourself, by booking a free-trial with one of our tutors here! 🚀