“We can either use this technology as an echo chamber or use it to open our proverbial horizons.”
– Anonymous Luddite | RT by Zero Hedge
I read an interesting article from TheMindUnleashed.org, “Here’s Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use iPads And Why You Shouldn’t Either.”
There’s a quote that was highlighted in The Times by Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and a father of five. He explains what drives those who work in tech to keep it from their kids.
“My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules… That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”
The dopamine-release center in our brain causes addictions to any form of activity that you could possibly imagine…
For Example: “Television Is A Drug”
It’s well-known in neuroscience that Television and Internet activity is worse among individuals with an attention-deficit disorder and maybe autism. There’s hyper stimulation in neuronal activity within the brain releasing large amounts of dopamine responsible for “reward and pleasure”. I’ve witnessed first-hand Internet addiction while using Social Media. It impacted my life in a negative way. I would crave online interaction such as “comments” and “likes” and “shares” as a means to compensate for my lack of social activities, and socializing with my peers. Texting was more comfortable than talking to a person face-to-face. I’ve noticed how much my focus and attention on daily activities diminished over the years. The diminished ability to multi-task. I focused on way too many activities all at once, while driven-to-distraction updating my status –this testimonial is coming from a Gen Y 20-something Indigo. With the exception for developing a unique ability, where I became great at information dissemination, by reading the conversations in real-time feeds and sound bites. I could “follow” the art of conversations. I could “see” the tech and entrepreneurial circles connected by degrees of separation. I could recognize “the trends” from the topics discussed in a culture that is growing more and more complex. I could look at the “bigger picture” of the Social Media umbrella —the Tech Revolution. It’s fascinating to watch. Even more fascinating reading the opinions of those whom are pioneering this technological revolution.
Infancy (ages 0 to 8) and early adulthood (ages 20-28) are critical periods in the brain plastic development —based on my observation of learning periods that are highly malleable. The younger generation is far more intelligent than their parents before them. Children are precocious to influences from the Internet, TV, Video Games, and the Media. There’s more information that’s accessible due to technology without them being taught by their parents. The bottom line is that technology can be used both negatively and positively in learning and education. In addition to this potential, there aren’t that many child-focused technologies in regards to learning and development. There’s “limited control” or “censorship” the parents can use over the technology their children are using.
I agree that technology can be used as a tool to enhance education. There’s Google “Open Source” education where knowledge is accessible to anyone at the touch of a fingertip: Wikipedia, Khan Academy, Cousera, Dream Box, Harvard and Stanford online courses. I’ve tried them and it works to enhance ones learning curve. So, I know it is possible to self-educate. The technology could be used inside the classroom, if allowed by Academia. There’s potential for the use of technology in post-secondary education, but not primary education where the basics are needed for learning, practice, and exercise.
It’s just a matter of how the technology is used and being aware of the dangers of such technology before we teach our children how to use the Internet, use Social Media, and teach them Programming. The technology doesn’t make up for teaching the basics: socialization, memory, spatial organization, processing speed, mathematical reasoning and verbal comprehension that’s necessary and important for learning. During the critical period (ages 0 to 8), technology should never be used in or outside the classroom. It has no place there, especially when it comes to equipping children with the social skills and life advantage they need in an environment that is becoming all the more culturally complex.
Featured image: Unknown photographer.