The following Blog was contributed by Morris Street FRC Staff Joshua Giannone:
I’m going to do a little bragging. I consider myself a pretty tech savvy guy. Programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and the Microsoft Office Suite come easy to me. I’ve also wired a complete home theater in my day. However, by no means do I like technology. I would do without any electronic device, but being a college student in the year 2012, that would not work too well. Fortunately, I’ve managed to find the perfect balance for using technology effectively. Children on the other hand, need to be taught how to use electronics in moderation.
Research has shown that the average child engages in eight hours worth of technology use every day. The same research has proved that children’s fine motor and sensory skills have weakened because of their prolonged time with electronic devices (Rowan, 2010). Children are not only affected physically but socially. Most technologies keep a child secluded in his or her home rather than interacting with others. This can be detrimental to a young student’s social development (Plowman, McPake& Stephen, 2010). On the other end of the spectrum, too little exposure to technology places a child at a disadvantage. Using a computer is an essential skill no matter what one’s age.
Here are some tips for children and maybe some adults, on how to become a responsible technology user:
1.Don’t allow a child to own a television in his or her bedroom. A television in a bedroom can be isolating and make it difficult to monitor what is being viewed.
2.Discourage your child from using a computer for entertainment purposes for long periods of time. Computer and internet use should be mainly for information. Any other time should be limited.
3. No child under the age of 14 should have any social media account. No unsupervised Facebook profile or Twitter account.
4. Although more expensive, purchase the hard copy version of a book. Using an e-reader or tablet can divert a child from the actual story. The novelty alone of the touch screen can be a major distraction.
5. Limit the amount of television your child can watch every day. One-two hours of television is more than enough time.
6. Exercise. Exercise.Exercise. I can’t say it enough.
7. No child in elementary school or middle school needs a smart phone. Unless your seven year old needs to manage their 401K or send an e-mail to their coworkers.
For more information, you can visit www.kidsafe.com and click on internet safety.
Plowman, L., McPake, J., & Stephen, C. (2010).The Technologisation of Childhood?Young Children and Technology in the Home.Children & Society, 24(1), 63-74.
Rowan, C. (2010). Unplug-Don't Drug: A Critical Look at the Influence of Technology on Child Behavior With an Alternative Way of Responding Other Than Evaluation and Drugging. Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry, 12(1)