Is Technology harming or helping our children? Just as too much sugar will impact our children’s health long-term, in moderation, it is a pleasant treat which is hard to resist in so many of our foodstuffs. In today’s digitally immersed world, technology is impossible to avoid and is it even advisable, considering technology will be involved in every aspect of our children’s future workplaces?
Children are being introduced to digital devices from as early as their first birthday and reports suggest that this early initiation is thoroughly preparing the child to enter the digital world by allowing them to expand their creativity through scientific apps and games. The touch screen interaction provides the ease and ability to improve general skills in all areas of learning, especially in maths and reading. With this digital approach, children have more enthusiasm for subjects which are perceived as less interesting to them in a classroom setting and opens up opportunities to bond with teachers, friends and relatives anywhere in the world.
Our children are now digital natives exploring their world online and it is clear, the clock cannot be turned back, so focusing and guiding the many positive skills which can be achieved through technology is a vital approach. Studies have shown that children are enjoying an increased IQ and improved learning skills such as problem-solving as well as enhanced critical thinking skills. They have quick and easy access to information and games which exist to affect and refine every aspect of their physical, mental and emotional development.
However, many parents are rightly concerned that their children may be exposed to undesirable websites and have demanded digital safeguarding for children under 18 years. These concerns have prompted the government to produce an Online Safety Bill which has promised to provide better protection by preventing underage access to adult websites with the use of age verification technologies. Equally, with the upcoming Online Harms Bill, online trolling will be a punishable offence of up to two years in prison. Social media companies will also be held accountable or face being fined. It is hoped these legal measures will deter negative online behaviours and in particular, safeguard children as they continue to navigate their all-digital world.
‘Technology is not just a tool. It can give learners a voice that they may not have heard before.’
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