This post slightly follows two of my previous posts Why (not) use ICT in Early Childhood and Are Digital Technologies making us Anti-social? Two days ago as I was scrolling through my facebook page I noticed a friend had shared an article called I turned off my son’s Xbox to regain his childhood. This article hit close to home as my daughter too plays minecraft and has done since she was 5. Just like the little boy described in this article she too became addicted and rules had to be put in place. These rules have been in place for six years and have worked well for the both of us. During the school holidays she is allowed free range with screens. It is up to me during the holidays to provide activities for her that allow her time away from the screens. During school terms the rule is no screens Monday-Thursday, unless she needs to check something for homework – this we do together. This makes it hard especially when her school encourages students to play Mathletics and Soundwaves at home during the week. I believe that she can do this work over the weekend. I have not wavered in my rules and the school needs to accept that parents have rules at home regarding screen time regardless if it has educational purposes or not. My daughter is extremely actively she dances twice a week for up to 4 hours each week, she swims and plays the clarinet. These activities together with practice of these activities and homework take up a lot of time. I am very proactive in ensuring we have time together every day without a screen in our faces to reconnect and talk about the day.
This is where I am torn regarding the use of ICT. Children are exposed and use it all day whether at school or at home. Where is the balance, how do we balance, is there a need to balance?
Whilst deciding on how to write this blog I read a couple of blog posts by other students Sherrynjohns – Can we ever escape technology? Elly – Is there such thing as escaping technology?Elly – Is there such thing as escaping technology? Michelleraine – Are we too dependent on technology? My answers, yes, yes and yes. Sherryns blog made me ask the question could I live without the technology I use. Yes, although it would be a struggle as I too am addicted to checking a screen for really pointless reasons. There are many days over school holidays I unplug and put my mobile away. An example, today my daughter and I went exploring a new park and walking path, I did not even take my phone to take photos. We made memories today that we will need to remember by what we saw and felt and how we felt. It felt great not to have a phone attached to my hand and I really enjoyed getting out and reconnecting with my daughter and nature.
After completing assignment one and reading these blogs I am wondering should we also teach children how to manage their ICT use/addiction? The above article proposes that internet disorder may soon be added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders. The writer claims that China have hospitals which have been operating units for the specific treatment of internet and gaming addiction since 2008.
No one really knows how far technology will be able to go. We do not know the damaging effects on our children or the benefits to them. After completing assignment one I can see how ICT can amplify and transform lessons, however I wonder just what else we are teaching them or taking away from them?
If I was to describe how I feel about ICT and pedagogy and the use of ICT not only in early childhood but in schools the only word I have is TORN.
Elly’s Blog. (2016). Is there such a thing as escaping technology? Retrieved from https://ladyofthesunblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/is-there-such-thing-as-escaping-technology/
Michelleraine’s Blog (2016). Are we too dependent on technology? Retrieved from https://mitchellraine.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/are-we-to-dependent-on-technology/
Picture – disconnect. Retrieved from http://tech.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/disconnect.png
Picture – mobile phone. Retrieved from https://cherishednomad.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/p1090543.jpg?w=620
Sheehan, A. (2016). I turned off my son’s Xbox to regain his childhood. Retrieved from http://www.theage.com.au/comment/i-turned-off-my-sons-xbox-to-regain-his-childhood-20160323-gnpl27.html
Sherrynjohns Blog. (2016). Can we ever escape technology? Retrieved from https://sherrynjohns.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/can-we-ever-escape-technology/