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Classroom

Less Tech
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TX Littles

How do Electronic Devices Affect Our Health?

Overexposure to electronic devices can have a huge impact on many areas of our kids’ health, and can cause a wide variety of related issues:

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Low energy

  • ADHD

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Increased stress

  • Addiction

  • Aggression and impulsivity

  • Obesity

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Developmental issues (especially in young kids)

  • Dry-eye disease

  • Decreased hand-eye coordination

  • Reduced ability to form social connections and relationships

  • Reduced executive function

  • EMF overexposure

This is quite a large list of potential problems with electronics! Let’s take a look at these issues with more detail to gain a better understanding of the risks we take when we let our kids use electronics for long periods of time.

 

Screen Time Can Be DANGEROUS For Kids’ (Mental & Physical Health)

 

Increased Screen Time as a Cause of Declining Physical, Psychological Health among children and adolescents:

Literature review and case study

Abstract

Dependency on digital devices resulting in an ever-increasing daily screen time has subsequently also been the cause of several adverse effects on physical and mental or psychological health. Constant exposure to devices like smartphones, personal computers, and television can severely affect mental health- increase stress and anxiety, for example, and cause various sleep issues in both children as well as adults. Risk factors for obesity and cardiovascular disorders, including hypertension, poor regulation of stress, low HDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance are among the physical health repercussions we see. The psychological health effects comprise suicidal tendencies and symptoms of depression which are associated with digital device dependency, screen-time-induced poor sleep quality, and content-influenced negativity. Oftentimes it can cause the induction of a state of hyper-arousal, increase stress hormones, desynchronize the body clock or the circadian cycle, alter brain chemistry and create a drag on mental energy and development. With a focus on brain development in children and detrimental effects in both adults and children, this research article goes on to explore the various aspects of screen addiction and excessive screen exposure.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; internet; melatonin; obesity; regulation; screen addiction; sleep quality; stress; vision.

Copyright © 2022, Nakshine et al.

 

Increased Screen Time as a Cause of Declining Physical, Psychological Health, and Sleep Patterns: A Literary Review - PubMed

 

The Negative Effects of Technology for Students and Educators

Literature review and case study

Abstract

This literature review analyzes over 30 peer reviewed, scholarly articles to find a correlation between technology use and the negative impacts it can have on students and educators. This review was able to determine that the overuse of technology can lead to negative health effects as well as impair student learning. With the rapid development of new technologies, educators are having a challenging time keeping up. Without the proper training and support, educators are unable to incorporate technology tools and resources into their lessons effectively. Technologies are being used on a daily basis within the school systems, which has drastically increased student screen time. This literature review found that students who are exposed to a large amount of screen time have a higher risk of experiencing adverse health effects as well as learning deficits. The pressure for educators to incorporate technology into majority of their lessons is increasing student screen time at an alarming rate. This information proves that there is clear need for policy to minimize screen time and the hazardous health consequences associated with screen time among children and youth. The studies analyzed have helped raise awareness to the downfalls of technology use in the classroom and provide suggestions on how to better incorporate technology into student lessons and personal life.

Keywords: technology, screen time, mental health, physical health, learning, 1:1

 

“This is Why Technology in the Classroom Doesn’t Work”

Summary:

“There is no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics, or science in countries that invested heavily in [computers] for education ... [S]tudents who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning outcomes … And perhaps the most disappointing finding is that technology is of little help in bridging the skills divide between advantaged and disadvantaged students.”

 

A 2012 study surveying the habits of over 2,000 kindergarten, elementary, and junior high school children found that the minimum amount of screen-time associated with sleep disturbance was just 30 mins for interactive compared to 2 hours for passive use. 

 

  • Yusuke Kondo et al., "Association between Feeling upon Awakening and Use of Information Technology Devices in Japanese Children," Journal of Epidemiology/Japan Epidemiological Association 22, no. 1 (2012): 12-20

 

 

A 2007 study demonstrated that sleep and memory were significantly impaired following a single session of excessive computer game playing, while a single session of excessive television viewing produced only mild sleep impairment and had no effect on memory.

 

  • Markus Dworak et al., "Impact of Singular Excessive Computer Game and Television Exposure on Sleep Patterns and Memory Performance of School-Aged Children" Pediatrics 120, no. 5 (November 2007)

 

 

Studies show that reading is slower and that recall and comprehension is impaired when using an e-reader, suggesting that the brain doesn't process the information as easily.

 

  • Mangen, Bente R. Walgermo, and Kolbjorn Bronnick, "Reading Linear Texts on Paper versus Computer Screen: Effects on Reading Comprehension," International Journal of Educational Research 58 (Jan 2013)

 

 

  • Mangen, Anne, "Comparing Comprehension of a Long Text Read in Print Book and on Kindle: Where in the Text and When in the Story" Frontiers in Psychology 10 (Jan 2019)

 

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that for school-aged children (ages 6-12), screen time should be limited to no more than 2 hours per day of high-quality programs. Yet school related screen-time can easily add up to several hours daily on its own.

 

 

Studies show that reading hyperlinked text tends to produce fragmented understanding of material, due to a heavier cognitive load from increased decision making and visual processing.

 

 

Elementary school children should ideally have computer lessons no more than once a week, and even high school students seem to do better when school computer availability occurs just once or twice a week.

 


 

A 2007 study at London University's Institute of Education found that interactive whiteboards provided no impact on student performance in the first year of use, that any increase in motivation from the initial intrigue was short-lived, and that some children became distracted by the technology. 

 

Paradoxically, these so-called "interactive" methods lead to reduced human interaction, as children's eyes are glued to the screen instead of to the teacher. The teacher in turn becomes more and more reliant upon using high-tech presentations to stimulate and entertain the audience, creating a vicious cycle. They also contribute to media multitasking because children are forced to attend to various visual and auditory stimuli while answering questions or taking notes and attempting to absorb the lesson at the same time. Media multitasking fractures attention and impairs performance.

 

  • Dunckley, Victoria L. "Reset Your Child's Brain: A Four Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skill by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time"

 

  • Mangen, Anne, "Comparing Comprehension of a Long Text Read in Print Book and on Kindle: Where in the Text and When in the Story" Frontiers in Psychology 10 (Jan 2019)

 

So-called "interactive" software designed to monitor students' performance, correct their errors, modify the pace of lessons accordingly, and even give them programmed encouragement to keep trying obviously can't substitute for the dynamic exchanges, verbal and nonverbal, that a teacher who knows and loves her students can initiate. Literacy is a social enterprise that is threatened when children's social interactions are impoverished.

 

  • Cordes, Colleen, Ed.;' Miller, Edward, Ed. Fool's Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood. Alliance for Childhood, College Park, MD. 2000-00-00 105p.

 

Jane Healy suggests that much educational software amounts to "electronically sugarcoated 'learning' that may spoil children's appetite for the main course." She adds: Learning is, indeed, fun, but it is also hard work. In fact, working hard, surmounting challenges, and ultimately succeeding is what builds real motivation. Any gadget that turns this exciting and difficult process into an easy game is dishonest and cheats the child out of the joy of personal mastery. Encouraging children to "learn" by flitting about in a colorful multimedia world is a recipe for a disorganized and undisciplined mind.... Accessing or memorizing isolated information, or dabbling at an occasional skill sandwiched amidst an entire loaf of intellectual Wonder Bread, has nothing to do with true learning, which requires making meaningful connections between facts and ideas. Today's children are overpowered with data and special effects, but teachers report they have trouble following a logical train of thought or linking ideas together. Finally, some of the "habits of mind" fostered by this software are dangerous, to wit: impulsivity, trial-and-error guessing over thoughtful problem-solving, disregard of consequences, and expectation of overly easy pleasure.

 

  • Jane M. Healy, Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children's Minds for Better and Worse, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998,

  • Cordes, Colleen, Ed.;' Miller, Edward, Ed. Fool's Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood. Alliance for Childhood, College Park, MD. 2000-00-00 105p.

Source: Dunckley, Victoria L. "Reset Your Child's Brain: A Four Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skill by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time"

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