Education

Published on December 2nd, 2019 | by Guest

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Why kids shouldn’t have laptops in the classroom

So, why kids shouldn’t have laptops in the classroom? Does the question scratch your logical mind? We believe, it is. And, this is the focal issue of this article today. No. We are not against technology and technology fuels the future of global education. Free information. Increased engagement. Audio-visual learning techniques. A better understanding of the current technology and the computer ecosystem.

The end result?

Children are turning into better learners with their laptops and access to the internet. And, once they become better learners at the very early stage of their lives, they remain the same for the rest of their academic and professional lives. True. 100%

Now, up to this point, this whole idea seems noble which is not wrong. But, beyond this noble picture, a fundamental question is lurking around. Is this modern technology or internet-connected laptops bringing only the positives towards its budding users? The simple answer is no. It is not, statistically. While we strongly support the fact that every kid should have access to laptops both in their homes and schools but, having laptops in the classroom desks is somewhat different.

Why? Let’s learn.

Laptops in Classrooms – A curse?

There are many positive sides of having laptops within an education system. Especially for children, laptops or other alike devices can be the best way to get engaged with learning. And, in this digital age, learning technology is the bare minimum requirement for kids. But, everything comes at a price and this digitization of the education is not outside that. The global educators are experiencing the negative side of using laptops in the classrooms and they have started bending their learning processes towards the good old pen and paper system.

Further, according to a recent UNICEF publication, that surfaced in 2017, namely ‘Children in a digital world’, the revelations from the global analysis say a stygian story about the actual effect of the present-day digital education system on the children. Yes, the truth is not sugar-coated and the role of digital education, that is encased within a laptop and an internet connection is under the scanner.

More laptop usage. Less focus. Slashed understanding.

This screenshot is all about what children are doing online through their learning devices like laptops:

Image source: UNICEF

The most frequented sections within the online activities of the children, globally, are playing online games and visiting social networking websites. Although the usage of the internet for schoolwork is healthy, it comes with a price that is harmful and addictive.

You will have to understand that the immature minds of children are vulnerable and they are potential victims of the dark side of the web. This screenshot shows that violence and the horrific contents related to child abuse are the vilest things for children around the world.

There are other published research papers and articles which are going louder on the same issue of the laptop usage of budding students or children in their classrooms. A recent paper from the Sage journals on educational psychology says that laptop note-taking is inferior to the old school long-hand note-taking.

Further, the students who used laptops in their classrooms performed worse on solving the conceptual questions than the rest of the students who didn’t use laptops. It was found in the research that increased usage of the laptops in the classrooms affected the understanding capacity and the multitasking ability of the students.

Likewise, a research paper from Illinois State University, under the title ‘One to one technology and its effect on student academic achievement and motivation’ backs the same idea. They surveyed the students who laptops during their classrooms and those who didn’t. The study was done on the fourth-grade school kids from two different classrooms and data was collected of their academic performance and their motivational approach towards learning new things during the stipulated time. According to the research team, the end result didn’t support the common hypothesis that the usage of devices like laptops and access to the web would increase the academic and motivational performance of kids.

Social media vs mental health. Risks of using laptops in the classrooms.

The mind of a child is soft and full of queries. So, a laptop with a healthy internet connection is a pandora’s box for them. This can yield two types of situations. Firstly, with the help of the current technology, they can harness more information for enriching their knowledge of their school works and subjects. Now, that’s the good part. But, most of the present-day scenarios go against this.

A child, without properly knowing the probable outcome of a luring communication with a stranger on social media sites or online game forums, gets victimized. They are easy prey for hackers or other cyber offenders as a child has limited or almost no idea about the protection level of their privacy. They are more prone to feed their personal data into the web, unknowingly. There are tons of examples of child cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate or abusive content, cybercrimes, and so on.

Now bring all these contraries on the desk of children’s classrooms. What do you see? A real danger.

Accordingly, the commissioner of children for the UK government published an alarming report back in 2018. The report says that the children are not prepared for using social media and they named the current time as ‘social media cliff edge’ for the children who are starting secondary school. Social media and it’s black side are making children mentally seek, pushing them towards a life with more screen time in their classrooms and in their homes.

There is a deep health risk associated with this particular usage of social media. Modern Paediatrician is experiencing many negative behavioral issues like sleep problem, enhanced aggression, obesity, and low self-confidence. Now, if the digital educators try to push the children more towards lavish fun toys like laptops and tablets in their classrooms, then we can expect a new breed of student who will be called as the perfect example of the ‘neck down’ generation.

These issues breed a completely different and harsh mentality into children which is a serious threat to their mental well being, academic performance, and balanced social life. Also, more screen time pushes a child to live in a virtual world that appears more civil to him disturbing his normal way of living socially.

Last thoughts.

Lastly, we need to remember that laptops are nothing but a tool for the kids. These devices can only help you learn things. But, these are not the only way to learn things. There are other smart ways for the current educators to infuse the love of the process of learning a thing into bright young minds. Creativity never needed laptops and web connections in the first place, and this is true for the kids from all parts of this globe.


Contributors for this Post:

LaptopDiscovery: A blog dedicated to find laptops under budget and for a specific purpose

Mashable: Should You Get Your Child an iPad or Laptop for School?

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