Apparently, a middle school teacher has written an essay on how mobile devices affect children’s social lives, with the need for social media badges like Likes, follower counts, and the immortality of embarrassing incidents.
It’s fictionalized narrative which leaves me little to grab as far as a brief point of the exercise, but basically, it’s that mobile devices affect our children’s development in a bad way. He offers some solutions at the end of the piece, but they’re pretty basic stuff: Have the school technology classes teach kids phone etiquette, stop using social media for official school communications, and try to convince that real life is out there.
Not mentioned: The fact that schools themselves are increasingly giving devices to students.
My children don’t get a lot of device time; they were taken away and locked away many months ago because their behavior was tweenish. But the oldest got a laptop from school last year. Without close, close supervision, he will spend hours on it “doing homework” which turns out to be a little homework and a lot of what he would do on a mobile device.
So, yes, we’re trying to keep them focused on real life, and we would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for the school’s technology.
As this is the Internet, gentle reader, I will leave it to your feverish brains to wonder why schools would think their often-subsidized-by-technology-companies devices, which capture our children’s data, are better than parent-provided devices which capture our children’s data. I certainly cannot ascribe particularly nefarious motives to my boys’ Lutheran school, but I do wonder why schools feel the need to teach children about computers and devices–things that are common in their worlds outside of school. I mean, they don’t offer Nerf gun classes or riding a bike classes. Kids just learn these things growing up.
Oh, sure, the thought is that they’re teaching the kids technological skills they need to know growing up. But they’re teaching them Google Docs, some video editing software, some quizzing games, and drag-and-drop scripting programming tools. Which most kids would learn on their own if they needed to use the tools. And which will be as relevant as Lotus 1-2-3 when the children grow up. Instead, perhaps the school teaching should focus on working with pencil and paper, since that’s closer to the brain.
I’m not harping on my kids’ school; it’s just following, after a fashion, trends in the modern professional education space.
I don’t think I have a cohesive post for you here, but I’m working from an Internet-connected distraction device here, and this post is a distraction from something I should be doing instead.