According to CNN, 90% of all American children right now have an online footprint by the time they are two years of age, (Clinton & Steyer). The most crucial parts of a child's learning development occur in the preschool through early elementary years. Norms of problem solving, cognition, and social interaction are picked up. Given the statistic that children are introduced to electronic use well before the age of four, preschool age, there are repercussions to this marrying of young malleable minds and unstructured use of electronics. The effects of children using electronics are: weakened critical thinking skills, isolation from real-world social interaction, and lack of comprehension in understanding concepts or lessons. Although an evolving world of electronics seem to make teaching and learning easier, digital platforms are already a major distraction outside of the classroom and only support the behavior inside.
Children are taught to find answers using search engines like Google. Encyclopedias are almost like thing of the past, as many do not either no how to use them or want to. When an answer to a question is as easy as clicking a few buttons, it is easy to forget it, because it didn't take much work for the brain to find it. In other words, there is no reinforcement of information that is so easily found. This is not helpful, because children are not retaining knowledge, and they are not thinking about where it came from or what it may mean. In a study conducted by the University of Maryland, children who participated were typing in questions blindly without even thinking about them (Olsen). What is more is the fact that in the New York Times article in which the study was discussed, it is stated that children are...
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Lim, C.-P., Zhao, Y., Tondeur, J., Chai, C.-S., & Tsai, C.-C. "Bridging the Gap: Technology Trends and Use of Technology in Schools." Educational Technology & Society 16.2 (2013): 59-68. Print.
Odendaal, Nancy. "Splintering Urbanism or Split Agendas? Examining the Spatial Distribution of Technology Access in Relation to ICT Policy in Durban, South Africa." Urban Studies (2011): 2375-379. Print.
Olsen, Stefanie. "Helping Children Find What They Need on the Internet." New York Times. N.p., 25 Dec. 2009. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
Reed, Florence D. "Applications of Technology to Teach Social Skills to Children with Autism." Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (2011): 2-8. Print.
Sharples, Mike, Josie Taylor, and Giasemi Vavoula. "A Theory of Learning for the Mobile Age." The Sage Handbook of Elearning Research (2007): 221-47. Print.
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