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Arianna Moeller

May 23, 2014


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-Technology in children-
An emerging generation that has altered school systems

Introduction
When I was seven years old, my mother gave me a book titled: Stories and Poems for
Kids. Since then, I was induced to love the paper world; the now unknown planet where
coloring books, and poems, and Narnia characters, and even the rules for correct punctuation,
were imbedded between pages, that after a while unopened smelled like dust and reminiscent
memories. In fact, they still do. I still have that book, but I know it will be dormant for a
while. I now have two sisters of twelve and seven years old respectively. I am only 18 years
old and sometimes I feel that I belong to a different generation. For most of my school years,
I learned as a paper planet citizen; my sisters are the seeds of a tech-oriented society.
A striking number of schools around the world, including mine, Colegio Menor, have
implemented technology in its classrooms. And yes, that is a fact. Now, thinking about a
research paper without Google seems unthinkable, even prehistoric. For children between the
ages of 0 and 12 years, devices, which can be loaded with a variety of Apps, may allow them
to discover and explore the world in a tablet the size of their hands. Still perfect stories do no
exist. An emerging generation, where technology has altered school systems, has resulted in
the publication of a variety of studies, which correlate the impacts of devices in children.

Body:

-Challenging pre-established ideas-
Recently, the catchy title of a paper caught the attention of the press, and especially
parents and teachers: Handheld devices should be banned for children under 12. The
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striking list of facts, which outlined the detrimental effects of devices in the little ones,
attributed for the popularity and acceptance of the article worldwide. In response, David
Kleeman, the headmen if the American Center of Children and Media, argued that the
research include biased positions and insufficient evidence. The mere use of I-pads and
computers does not result in problems like obesity or ADHD; in other words, the association
of these conditions with handheld devices is a slippery slope fallacy. Some studies lack
plausibility, and sometimes people forget to address the hidden side of the coin.

-The Hidden side of the Coin-
Electronic devices allow kids to learn by interaction and to explore the world. The
beauty of I-Pad apps is they can expand her son's world, like a virtual piano that lets him play
music in the absence of the real thing, (Zamora, 2014) explains Aurelie Mercier, a 32 year-
old mother. Devices are efficient for the development of the sight, problem solving and
memory ordering for little toddlers, who could lack the assistance of an adult to develop these
skills. Even when they are used in school, technology can foster sharpened vision, better up
reaction times and cultivate an innate facility for multitasking, an expertise that most
21century children have developed. Furthermore, according to a study run by Michigan State
University reveals: Nearly five hundred 12-year-olds reported that playing video games was
associated with creativity in tasks such as generating stories (Murphy, 2012).
A recent study of Concordia University (2012) delineates the advantages of integrated
both traditional resources like books and notebooks with I-pads and computers in the
classrooms. The investigation enumerates benefits that range from instant access to
information and videos to social online learning, a method that helps students share
information and clarify possible doubts. The facility to make research faster results in an
increase of time to gain skills in other areas like language learning. In spite of this, parents,
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teachers and people that cope with children in a daily basis, know that even as fantastic as I-
pads, smart-phones and computers may sound, too much screen time is not beneficial.

-How much is too much? -
It should be of common sense to know that too much of everything is never good.
Extremes are known because of their closeness to problems. The magazine Psychology Today
published an article in 2012, which provides some insights on raising this new Tech-
Generation. Technology has shifted childrens attitudes from externally to internally driven
that inhibits unhealthy development. The article specifies: For healthy development to occur,
children must experience real-life peer friendships and positive relationships with adults.
(Price-Mitchell, 2012). The development of self-identity and the ability to interact with other
individuals is imperative during the childhood period.
Furthermore, people should also consider the amount of screen time that children
occupy in non-school activities. This does not only refer to TV shows, but also to social
media like Twitter and Facebook. According to the Kaiser foundations study (2010) children
from eight to 18 years spend an approximate of eight hours a day in activities that dont
contribute to their mental development. The appropriate word for technology should be
balance, not discourage. Even the research of the Commercial-Free Childhood, carried out by
Susan Linn, a psychologist at Harvard School, specifies: Children between two and five
years old spent an approximate of 2.2 hours per day watching TV and videos (Linn, 2012).
As age increases, the amount of time children spent in I-pads or similar devices increases as
well. The questions Susan Linn and her partners post after the study relate to wise decision
making in regards to time and applications used, especially in an educational center
environment.

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-Choosing the best Apps-
The boom of new Apps that help children to learn about art, music and to improve, at
some extent, in their cognitive capacities, are some of the benefits that studies obviate about
handheld devices. In fact, according to the article Childrens Technology Review: There
has never been such a dramatic increase in the number of commercial childrens interactive
media products than in the past twelve months. (Buckleitner, 2012). This opening statement
reflects the popularity of handheld devices in our society. Out of the 200 best-selling apps,
10% were dedicated to children. The innovative design of these programs like Alphabeasties
Amazing Activities, that focuses on the repetition of letters for rapid learning or Cosmic
Reactor, which includes easy math games are some popular examples. The list does also
includes interactive stories like Brave, the new movie, that enhance the reading experience
and coloring books, which imbed the names of geometric shapes and help children with their
sense of spatial organization.

Now a day, more than half the children below the age of eight own a handheld device
and, while it is true that the excessive use of gadgets may cause sleep deprivation or addiction
and mental illness, these effects only occur when children are not supervised. In the other
hand, handheld devices benefit other areas like logic and interpretation of concepts. Results
showed that touch-screens motivate children to study and enhanced their abilities to
understand materials. In fact, 72% of I tunes top selling apps are pedagogical. No wonder why
my sister is more fluent in English than I am, and that she has memorized the names of the
works of famous artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Gauguin.


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Conclusion
Embracing the appropriate use of technology in children
Yes, we live by the side of technology. For the last five years I have used technology
in almost all my classes and it has proven to help me get trough work quickly and efficiently.
In the other hand, my sisters have grown with an I-pad and a computer by their side. They can
use them with their eyes closed and are proficient in necessary skills like effective research or
others not as essential like country flag recognition and video editing. That is what our
generation is about, evolution, innovation and adaptability. Consequently, school
environments have become more dynamic and teachers prefer to merge the online and offline
worlds because it satisfies the needs of a spectrum of students, and has helped them to
strengthen their lectures with the use of videos and presentations. Even though electronic
handheld devices could diminish a childrens social abilities and physical skills, its
appropriate use has proven to enhance and personalize learning, resulting in the development
of an inclusive society.






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May 23, 2014
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Bibliography:
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Concordia University. (2009-2014). Pros and Cons of Allowing Digital Devices in the
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De Lange, C. (March 29, 2014). Screens are not all bad, the Ipad is todays novel. New
Scientist, Vol. 221. Retrieved from:
http://web.b.ebscohost.com/src/detail?sid=e46de572-bd98-42f7-a319-
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Jakubek, A. (2011). The ultimate babysitter? iPads for infants stir debate. Retrieved May 6,
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debate.htm
Murphy Paul, A. (2012). Your Wired Kid. Retrieved May 14, 2014 from:
http://web.b.ebscohost.com/src/detail?vid=19&sid=6aaa95f3-11b3-4f27-a4ff-
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Price-Mitchell, M. (2012). The Generation Tech: The Good, Bad and Scary. Psychology
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youth/201211/generation-tech-the-good-bad-and-scary


Rowan, C. (April, 2014). 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices should be Banned for Children
Under the Age of 12. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from:
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Susan, L. Wolfsheimer, A. Levin, D. (2012). Facing the Screen Dilema. Retrieved on May 21,
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Wendy, Z. (2013). Why Handheld Devices Should Not Be Banned for Children Under 12.
Techspiration. Retrieved May 6, 2014, from: http://techblog.evan-
moor.com/2014/03/18/handheld-devices-should-not-be-banned-children-under-12/

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May 23, 2014
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