The use of technology by students is a subject that has pros and cons. Even so, we can recognize, in general terms, that its proper use can have a positive impact on learning, especially if we consider that today children do not learn in the same way as they did a few years ago. In this scenario, it is worth asking: what is the place that should be given to technology in the lives of children? How much does excessive use affect brain development?  About this the child neuropsychiatries, Amanda Cesspits, speaks in an interview conducted by the Private Bus Service in Sharjah Group and we found it interesting to share with you:

“Digital technologies are changing the minds and minds of children”  

For this outstanding child neuropsychiatries, all pretechnological time was better. Ensures that digital technology has penetrated our homes and social relationships, affecting the skills to relate and reducing the time to share face to face. In this interview we will know punctually how it impacts on the development of children and adolescents.

It is common to see children and adolescents spend hours in front of a tablet or smartphone, seduced and oblivious to the “real” world. Does this habit affect your intellectual and affective growth? Amanda Cesspits, a child neuropsychiatries,  says that it is a complex issue, and even more so before the age of 10, a stage in which the various brain functions are being rapidly developed at the service of interpersonal communication. Digital technologies are changing the minds and minds of children. ”

When do we talk about “excessive use” of digital devices in children and adolescents?

– I am very drastic: Before the age of five, children should not use digital devices as a means of entertainment and / or communication. Between 6 and 12 years, the use of devices (tablets, smartphones, etc.) should be less than two hours per day, adding entertainment and school work. In adolescents, being connected to social networks should not exceed three hours per day and, if possible, parceled.

What impact does the age at which children begin to use digital technologies have?

-The earlier children start using digital technologies, the less social skills are developed such as the ability to read the mind of the other through the eyes, the reading of non-verbal cues, the pragmatic (quickly adapt the behavior to context), empathy and spatial attention (quickly collect context data). It diminishes the use of sociolinguistic rules (giving thanks, asking permission, smiling) and privileging the fleeting social contact.

Do we have a new profile of children?

-We definitely have new minds, formatted, designed by the use of digital technologies. Children are very different from those of the last century. They are minds that process information very quickly, holistically, with great use of spatial logic and new communication codes (emoticons, for example). The visual and the space are protagonists, losing the symbolic conceptual relevance and the sequential analysis of the phenomena. Minds that privilege the speed of information over the depth of it. Impatient minds This fast and surface processing sacrifices the elaborated, the slow, the “matured” before being issued. It is above the depth of ideas,

What are the reasons that lead children and teenagers to spend long periods in front of multiple screens?

-The screens offer an extraordinarily attractive material from every point of view (thematic, graphic, sense of control); they generate a high expectation in front of the reward (games) or they are very rewarding for their content (movies, series). They raise the release of a molecule called dopamine, which causes enjoyment, expectation, interest, curiosity. Many of them are available to the interested party at any place and at any time and their contents can be chosen. They serve as an antidote against boredom, loneliness, grief. All this gives them a quality called “gratification”. They are very rewarding, and the human being loves what gratifies him. The dilemma is that if the child, adolescent or adult spends long hours in front of a screen, the gratification system becomes overactive and triggers addictive behavior, because the brain begins to need dopamine. The basic question is why a child or a teenager – or an adult – cannot turn off the screen to immerse themselves in real life? The answer is: because real life is ungrateful. It is an escape.

What is the appropriate age for a child to start using ICT?

-Digital technologies (ICT) are a splendid resource when used in the classroom, with well-defined objectives. They develop creativity, divergent and convergent thinking, executive intelligence, originality, etc. It is different when ICTs become the source of entertainment at home, a resource that allows parents to ignore their children for a long time because they know they are “in good hands”. I am an ardent admirer of ICT in the classroom, as long as they know how to use and can be used in preschool as long as they do not become “the” only methodological resource. Kindergartners need direct experiences.

What care should teachers have when incorporating ICT as a teaching tool?

-The use of ICT as a methodological resource is very innovative and stimulating for children, but it should be avoided that it becomes a means to evade the teacher’s main duty, which is to accompany the students to create their learning, to make sense of them , to apply them creatively. It is not enough to turn on the laptop or computers to believe they are learning in an innovative way. The teacher/write my essay is key, and must be a pedagogue who knows how to use ICT; that they are a natural part of their methodologies, because children perceive when the teacher, a digital immigrant, shows their weaknesses in front of students who are digital natives and dominate the technology in a very fluid way, leaving the teacher at a disadvantage, which loses leadership.

 

by: Eddie Colin