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They say students lack the motor skills or can't pay attention in class because of tablet overexposure

A group of UK teachers are urging parents to limit their children's time on tablets and other technology, as they claim a rising number of young students lack the motor skills needed to play with building blocks while older students are unable to take written exams with pen and paper.

According to The Telegraph, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers wants parents to turn off the Wi-Fi at night before bed so students get a good night's sleep instead of playing on tablets all night. 

The association claims that younger students as young as three or four can swipe on an iPad screen, but have little or no dexterity in their fingers to use building blocks. 

As for the older students, the association said their attention spans are limited in the classroom due to overexposure to technology. They further claimed that these students can't implement the skills they read in their textbooks, but have exceptional technical skills when it comes to consumer electronics.  

“It is our job to make sure that the technology is being used wisely and productively and that pupils are not making backward steps and getting obsessed and exhibiting aggressive and anti-social behaviours,” said Mark Montgomery, a teacher from Northern Ireland.

“In the same way we can use a brick to either break a window or build a house, digital technology can be used for good or bad, and teachers can and should help their pupils make positive choices so they have positive experiences.”

The teachers say many children born with an iPad in their hands and overuse the devices are more likely to lack non-tech skills as simple as writing with pen and paper. 

This seems to be an issue in other parts of the world as well. Back in 2012, it was reported that children in South Korea are especially prone to internet addiction, and that the dangers of tech addiction would be taught in schools. 

In the U.S., however, tablets like the iPad are being deployed in many school districts to advance tech skills. 

Source: The Telegraph

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RE: Sod Off
By MrBlastman on 4/17/2014 4:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it definitely should be up to the parents here. As a parent myself I don't want a school or government telling me what I should and shouldn't do with my child at home. I'm raising them--not the other way around.

When I was a child I read like 10 books a month. Isn't that an addiction? But none of these teachers would say that, of course. Why is that perceived as being more healthy than a tablet or phone?

Also as a parent, I think this is where you and I see things differently. A book gives information and knowledge if it is nonfiction, if it is fiction, it helps build imagination. A tablet or a phone can be used to read books--but most of the time they are used to surf the internet and participate in forums or watch videos of cats on youtube (or whatever).

So from where I sit, there is far less value in allowing your child to use a tablet or smartphone than there is for them to read books at night. When I was growing up, my bedroom was kept empty except for books. At bedtime I went to my room and read as there was nothing else to do. Looking back I can say that definitely benefitted me tremendously.

Likewise, I also had a computer. A real computer. One with a keyboard and a mouse. I learned how to program, hack--you name it on this marvelous machine. A tablet or a smartphone isn't really conductive to learning any of these skills. From where I sit, these devices are purely for entertainment than the former, a true computer, that is useful for doing constructive, thought intensive things. So for me, with my child, I'm going to allow her eventually to use a computer--but severely limit her use of a tablet or other mobile devices. If I have my way, she won't ever have a smartphone until she leaves the house for college. I'll also block things like Facebook with our router.

But, this is my opinion as a parent. And I'm glad it is my opinion and not an enforceable law that tells me I have to allow my kids this or that. I get to choose, not them. And that is how it should be.

RE: Sod Off
By Nephelai on 4/18/2014 12:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with most parents is they work on auto pilot and don't really think thru the impact of things on shaping their children for the future. The internet changes peoples behaviour over the long term and I'm not convinced for the better if people are left to their own devices. One aspect for example is attention span, I myself have little patience to read nowadays and have become increasingly a skimmer. At least I can see the affect it's having on me children don't. Children need to learn the tools to deal with the internet first not the other way around.

RE: Sod Off
By Reclaimer77 on 4/18/14, Rating: -1
RE: Sod Off
By JediJeb on 4/18/2014 2:40:45 PM , Rating: 1
Generally speaking, nobody is more concerned about the impact of things on their children than it's parents. I mean come on!

If that were true, then the local elementary school here would not need a program where they send donated food items home with certain children in unmarked bags so that they will have food to eat on the weekends. They use the unmarked bags so that the parents don't know what it is and eat it instead of the children.

There is a growing percentage of parents out there that are more concerned about themselves than their children. Many look at the children as simply an inconvenient side effect of pursuing their own pleasure. This is the effect of having a society that embraces those who have no initiative to better themselves instead of ostracizing them.

RE: Sod Off
By Dr of crap on 4/21/2014 10:16:59 AM , Rating: 1
Yea and IF parents paid attention to their kids-
16 year olds wouldn't be having kids
kids wouldn't get into gangs and do drive by shootings
math scores could be better with parents help
reading scores could be better with parents help

Used to be if a kid got out of line in class, the teacher would back hand him. Then the parents said not to my kid and that went away. So much so that a parent can't even hit their kid to discipline them. Yea parents go to far.
Yet the home life is NEVER looked at or suggested that a change might be a help for the kids well being.

What happens in the home has a huge influence on how and IF the kid can learn!! YET schools don't want to state that.

AND you have a problem with this school asking parents to do something that might help out? They are asking, not demanding / enforcing.

RE: Sod Off
By chripuck on 4/21/2014 12:59:06 PM , Rating: 1
Surely you can't be that ignorant...

I think it's insulting that they think they can tell me how to parent my child, but the sad fact is there is a large swatch of people who aren't fit to be parents.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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