NOVEMBER 12 — The “digital classroom” is now the talk of our education system but schools with PAK-21 classes were funded with the cooperation of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) and alumni associations of the schools concerned, and the private sector.
Even our prime minister was visually attracted to the use of the smart gadgets in the classroom and found the teaching and learning process more interactive, as well as capable of stimulating the students' interests and making the class more exciting.
We are now living in a high tech world, with high tech classrooms. For some educational institutions they do embrace the benefits of using the electronic gadgets for classroom teaching and learning.
The many benefits of using and incorporating technology while teaching, such as adding diversity to lessons, increasing student interaction, and to bringing new perspectives and knowledge to the class are no doubt well known.
Teachers and educators are required or instructed to make use the best tools of technology and MOOC platforms such as vleFrog, Schoology, Edmodo, Moodle or any other software provided by the ministry.
Educators and parents need also recognise the downsides resulting from inappropriate or overuse of technology which will have serious and long term consequences.
An article by Psychology Today mentioned about using technology can change a child’s brain and the way children think. The use of technology can alter the actual wiring of the brain.
Even now we can see parents providing their children mobile media even for children under the age of two.
Teens of 12-17 years old are the frequent group spending time online. It seems that the time spent with technology changes the way their brains work and doing things.
It was also mentioned that video games may condition the brain to pay attention to multiple stimuli; they can lead to distraction and decreased memory. Children using search engines may become very good at finding information but not very good at remembering it.
Children who use too much technology may not have enough opportunities to use their imagination or to read and think deeply about the material.
Meanwhile a report from the United Kingdom wrote that the overuse of technology can affect a child’s mood. It can affect a child’s ability to empathise and changes the way children feel.
Children on computer games and home internet for more than four hours do not have the same sense of wellbeing than who used less. Those children with less physical contact might have difficulty developing social skills and emotional reactions. Face-to-face interaction made students more sensitive to meaning in expression.
We must also be aware that children on technology may also be succumbed to sexual harassment and cyber-bullying. The improper use of technology can expose a child to numerous risks. Youngsters who utilize innovation may unwittingly share data that can place them in threat.
Sex offenders used social networking sites to get information about the victim’s preferences. And the anonymity of technology can also make it easier for people to bully others online. Teenagers say they have been bullied either by text or on the internet. Technology can open up privacy and safety at risk
Technology maybe to blame for the increased in child obesity. In most pediatric reports obesity are caused by the sum and kind of nourishments kids eat, but the fact is we exercise less as we use more technology. The measure of time we invest inactive expanded and our energy in physical action dropped.
We are certainly not against the use of technology, as with most things, moderation is best. Teachers and parents who want their students and children to experience the benefits of technology, without the negatives should consider these ideas.
As parent, teacher educator or both, the need to monitor the use of technology is a must. Ensure you know how your kids are using technology, ensure restrictions be made.
We must also teach them responsible usage and talk on establishing a positive resolution, be familiar with technology or whatever the current online trend is, so you can recognize and head off any problems early on.
We need to ensure the classroom technology is used intentionally for teaching to the best, not as precedence. We may also at times go back to basic like conducting class outside where you can sit and discuss a topic without the usual distractions.
Technology does make our lives easier and make students have tremendous opportunities to learn and to connect by using it. But with each advantage comes a potential cost. When we understand those costs and can minimize them, we can keep the use of technology positive.
* Azizi Ahmad is an educator
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.