Effects of Technology ,’techno-phobia’,on Student Concentration in Class; the

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As loving parents, we aspire to give our children the very best start to life. That requires that we create stability by putting a roof over their heads, feed them nutritious food, and care for their emotional well being. Above all else, we ensure our children get a good education. Education is the key to ensuring they have the knowledge and skills needed in order to thrive on their own, long after we are gone.

Researchers have sought to utilize the latest developments in technology to help our children have access to an even wider pool of educational tools. This includes educational videos, interactive games, and specially designed applications. Many have found these innovations to be quite effective. Educators across the globe have since found that while helpful, technology has also served to the detriment of our children’s education.

The Great Debate

Many researchers, educators, and parents have argued that technology should not be blamed for the quality of a student’s education. After all, without technology, we would not have made a number of scientific discoveries. Just think about what we have learned about the human body since the invention of x-ray machines. But our aim is not to encourage technophobia. It is merely to highlight the dangers of our dependency on technology and raise awareness about how it affects our kids.

We have since isolated the problem and noted that ‘screen time’ has significantly increased over the years. This refers to the amount of time spent on mobile devices and television. Children were once encouraged to read a book if they were bored or trying to grasp a particular topic. Parents also once spent a few hours each day interacting with their children.

Unfortunately, it now requires far more time to make ends meet and parents have resorted to allowing ‘screens’ to babysit their children. The average child in 2019 is thus allowed significantly more screen time than children five or ten years ago. There has also been a noteworthy decline in test scores in STEM subjects that require critical thinking. Many argue that this just represents a shift in the way we think as a society.

Teachers have noted that their students are simply unable to concentrate in class as they once did. Research has since found a direct link between a child’s ability to concentrate and their screen time. As you can imagine, this poses a number of very noteworthy problems. These issues must be addressed in the short term since it is our children, the future of our nation that are being left at a disadvantage.

The Link between Screen Time and Brain Activity

A $300 million study commissioned in 2018 and published by the National Institutes of Health has observed how screen time affects a child’s developing brain. In this study, it was found that the brain of children who spent more than three hours per day on screen time experience a premature maturational process. In one instance, the significant amounts of screen time caused the cortex to become unusually thin. This is the area of the brain responsible for critical thinking, memory, language skills, and a number of essential functions or abilities.

The results of the study were not conclusive. The researchers were unable to definitively state that screen time was without a doubt the cause of these developments. There is, however, a noteworthy correlation between increased screen time and decreased brain activity.

Social Media and Critical Thinking

Teachers have become so frustrated with their students who appear to be addicted to their phones and social media, that there has been a mass exodus from the classroom. Statistics indicate a global shortage of teachers. These teachers often complain that students today are only capable of first-step thinking, which is the kind of thought process required to scroll through thousands of images on social media. Critical thinking, however, requires the ability to link concepts and form opinions.

Whether we can definitively blame technology or not, the results clearly indicate that there is much work to be done. If we allow this trend to continue, our children will have to live in a world without critical thinking engineers, doctors and other essential professions.

Career choices and the role of parents

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Parent and a child walking

Career choice is a crucial thing in a child’s life as parenting is. Parents should play their role by guiding children to make better choices and be what they are meant to be in life. Children makes a group of people that have not experienced much in life, therefore, a times, they may be heading in wrong direction if not guided. However, this may not be the reason why parents should over exercise their mandates by dictating to children, or on a softer note, persuading them what they should choose to study or what their career must be in life. This sets a very bad chain of activities and reactions that you will you come to realize later when it too late and when the chances of reforming such a child are very minimal.

Parents in child’s education

A parent, or parents, is the first teacher to the child. The way he or she brings up the child determine the kind of person the child will be. As such, best parenting practices are recommended for bring up a person that will be responsible in the society, be free to socialize with others and feel free to contribute positively to the community.  When a child first leaves your doorstep to join others in school, you should be the first person to encourage and motivate him or her to understand that schooling is a better place to be and good for his or her future. There should be continuous motivation and support despite the score that the child attains.

Confidence and independence

It reaches a time that a child should have some sort of independence. On of this moments is when it comes to choosing the career or the field of specialization. The parents should only guide and not insist on choosing career of the child. Remember that if you are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, and  economist, a lawyer, an artists and so on, your child will be like you, no.  You and your child are, very, different people with different capabilities. Allowing the child to choose what he or she likes best makes him or her confident and feels some sort of maturity that is beneficial in his or her studies and life, in general.

Talent and genetic makeup

As much as the genetic makeup of the children are inherited from parents, there are a number of compositions and processes that make them very unique and different. As such, children becomes very different people with different weakness and strength. A times you may understand the strengths and weakness your children have, at time, you may not fully understand them. Therefore, giving them mandatory choices may be underutilizing their strength or exploring their weakness.  At the end, things may not be well for them. A part from the genetic makeup, everybody has a God-given talent. In most cases, it is only the child that may realize it or somebody else closer to him or her such as a teacher. A teacher spends a good percentage of the day with the child, therefore, when it comes to discussing your child’s career, their contributions may be helpful. In general, children must be guided, however, they should be allowed to make their decisions keeping the mind the guidance given.

Difference in environment

Parents and their children are two groups of people that have been brought up in different environments. As much are they leave together, they explored and are exploring the outside world at different seasons and error. What worked for a parent during his or her time, may not work for the child due to a huge time difference. Therefore, dictating to the child what to take may be like putting him or her in your previous situation and making him or her live in passed era when he or she is in the present.

Psychological comfort and career choice

In most cases, people excel and do better in things that they initiate than things that they inherit.  This is because they understand how to nature and how to attend to them in low and high moments. This is when one attains what I may call physiological comfort. Children gets some psychological comfort when the pursue careers they choose by themselves. Because their mind is comfortable, they understand better and are ready to defend them, hence, they take all possible measures to ensure they do not fail.

Success in life

Success in life is not about being what other people are. Everybody is unique in his or her own way, therefore, the ways of conquering life may not always be similar to others. Due to that, children should be allowed to define their own path and maximize their capabilities. Success is not only when they became doctors, architects, teachers, artists and economists that you want them to be. There are very many successful people not from these careers that you want your children to venture in. Therefore, parents should give their children time to choose what they like, understand and would like to pursue for their future life.

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The big changes in education, the eLearning

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Technology in commerce

Education has been known from the beginning as sitting in class with a teachers in front delivering concepts, assignments and thereafter, evaluations. This has been practiced for long, however it has shown some weakness. Among them, a good number of students don’t apply the concepts in their day to day activities. This, together with technological advancements has led us into the new way of education, the eLearning.

ELearning in developed countries

Developed countries are known for having developed best curriculum and infrastructure that supports education. One of the main things that they have in place to support education is their policy and initiative in availing Internet services to a good percentage of the population. This has made it possible for educators to confidently post education materials online knowing that students will easily access them.

Force from world’s business, communication and social spheres

The world has embraced communicating, sharing of information and doing business online. People can now transact and share ideas online. This is the driving force that has made educators redefine education. Educations is now being coined to suit the current situation; meet the economic, social and generally, development needs of any given set up. This has necessitated the need for online courses and evaluations to keep with the trend of the global development achievements. One of the main players that has successfully awakened the world is the Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy. An online education organization that offers video and text lessons and well as practice questions in almost all subjects.

 ELearning in developed countries

A good number of developing countries are still behind when it comes to online education. Developed countries are characterized by large number of uneducated population dues to poverty, inequitable allocation of resources, corruption, accountability issues among others. This has left out big chucks of people in rural areas that are not able to afford education. A good number of the youths, the hope of the future generation, are not educated. These countries have poor infrastructure such as road networks, electricity and Internet services. As such, it becomes a big problem adopting the eLearning system that is becoming the world’s trending issues in the education sphere.

Elearning in Higher institutions of leaning

Most universities have responded positively to this demanding call such that they are now adopting eLearning system. A good number, in developing countries as well, have started offering online courses and eLearning services. However, there are a number of challenges since not all course cannot be offered online. Course that requires practical lessons can be taught best using the old system. Subjects like mathematics can still be offered online however, the quality will be very low since best evaluations cannot only be done on paper.

 The teachers

As the world is looking forward to education institutions to adopt this new education approach, there are some concerns that everybody must be ready to accept and only wait for the right institutions to take action. The main players in education are the teachers and a good number of them are not computer literate or do not have the skills of adopting the technological ways to delivering concepts to students. To keep with the development trends, teachers are encouraged to take long-life learning. This is where they constantly go for refresher courses and update their expertise with every upcoming changes in the teaching fields. The institutions that manage and higher teachers are also advised to consider having periodic short-courses for all teachers to keep them updated.

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