Saturday, May 13, 2017

Why Does My Kid Need To Use Technology In Class?

    I remember the day that my very first child was born. He was born on a Wednesday and he was just perfect. My family came to visit us and surrounded us with love. The youth group that I volunteered with made a card for me, my husband, and the new baby and made the trip to come see us in the hospital. A few days later, my family on my husband's side came to meet our new joy for the first time. The world was just perfect.
    Our little boy was the best of both my husband and me. He was kind and funny, gentle to his baby sister. When I went to work full time, he was always a hit with the kids in day care and a favorite of the day care workers. His memory is out of this world and his imagination will get him famous one day.
    When my son turned three years old, he was unfortunately kicked out of day care for biting. At three years of age, the day care expected all biters to stop biting instantly. It was ok for a two year old to bite because two year olds don't know how to communicate their feelings with words. It didn't matter that he was only two the week before. So because I was working, the day care suggested that my son go to preschool.
    We took my son to the preschool screening and it was decided there that he would need some speech and occupational therapy. My grandmother was amazing and watched him before and after school- she encouraged his imagination and creativity- probably more so than school.
    So... Something happened. The world started to encourage us to have my child use ABC Mouse. It encouraged us to download learning apps. Do you know what happened? My son began to have melt-downs. They weren't small melt downs. They were big tantrums. We noticed that they would start whenever we turned the app off. My husband and I had a conversation and decided- our son was not to play on the computer or on apps.
    We have kept this up for a long time. We do not let him play on our cell phones or on our tablets or on our computers. Our parents have respected our wishes and have not gotten him electronics for Christmas or birthdays and it has been wonderful.
    Zoom forward to kindergarten... Guess what!?!?!? As a learning tool, schools use tablets. Guess who's attitude began to change? My son started getting into trouble in school because he would throw tantrums and have epic meltdowns. He knew that tablet time was coming and if he heard that word- even if it as just announcing that they would use it after a different activity was finished, he wanted it NOW!
    We had an IEP put into place for him when he was in preschool for speech and some occupational therapy. When he started kindergarten, we had to have a meeting to get a behavior plan put in place. We had to have a system so our child wouldn't get into trouble.
    I have told the teachers and the schools that I wish they didn't have tablets. I told them that tablets are disruptive and change a child's brain chemistry, but they just say, "All of the children use them."
    I'm sorry, but when I was a child, I learned from actual books. I didn't have a tablet to learn from. Did you know that when a child uses the computer or a tablet at school that the program actually reads the story to them? Did you know that the program also reads the answers to them and lets them choose the correct answer? I don't know how a child is going to learn to read when a machine is doing it all for them. I found that the same was true for ABC Mouse. We tried it for a month. Instead of my child actually reading anything, he would listen to what it would say and then click around until the computer told him he was correct.
    I was always distracted as a kid. I wanted to play house with my pencils. When I would do math, my numbers were assigned genders and I would imagine that 4 was a girl who would date 8. 2 was an ugly girl and 5 and 6 liked 4. I was already distracted enough in class. I didn't need a tablet to distract me further.  Now that my son is in first grade, his buddies will download Sonic the Hedgehog onto his tablet. Guess what he's doing instead of studying?

    Something chemical happens with our brains when we sit in front of a computer, tablet, our phones, or even the TV. It happens to adults the same as children. I know that I'm not immune from the effects of looking at my phone too much. I actually feel moodier and even more tired. There are so many articles about how it gives us instant gratification, the same that a drug would do if we were to do drugs. It's no wonder that children throw tantrums when they don't get their way. Imagine what it would be like if someone grabbed the coffee you were drinking from your hand and told you couldn't drink it. I imagine that there would be more black eyes in the world.

   Am I overreacting? What do you think about using technology in school?

3 comments:

  1. As a side note- I wrote this blog yesterday and first thing my son did bright and early this morning was to demand that he watch a show that his daddy watches or watch one of us play a video game. I think this speaks volume about how easily addicting technology can be.

    I have been making him play more often lately, but when his daddy has been home, we have been letting him watch an hour of something with him before it is time to turn it off and get ready for bed.

    Side note- we made it a point that no tv was going to be turned on this morning.

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  2. I agree. Our schools have "Chromebooks" basically a name brand tablet. There is no paperwork or handwriting sheets. everything is done on a tablet or computer. it is so sad. My daughter is 15 and can barely write her own name in cursive and when asked to put her signature on an athletic form, she had to bring it home to ask us what it meant. I was devastated! Have I really failed my child by sending her to public schools?!?!? Teach, teach, teach at home. as much and as often as you can! If you believe they are learning it at school, you're probably wrong! I learned the hard way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. WI learned after this that he was behind, but none ever told me. We discovered that he has ADHD and has since done better and has caught up, but I'm sure the tablets haven't helped with his learning at all.

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