Our last student writing feature this week comes from Hala, a Writing 6 student from Saudi Arabia. Hala’s final research paper explores the influence of technology on children. Great work, Hala!

Check out all of our students’ best writing from the March/April term in The Globe


Introduction

Do children use the new technologies and the internet devices a lot in their daily life or not? Is it good for them or does it have positive and negative effects on children? The technologies and the internet take a huge place in children’s life, and using it has benefits and harmful aspects. It is better to control their use, not just let them use it as they want. There are positive effects relating to developmental, academic, and social factors, as well as negative effects such as physical, social, and mental consequences.

Positive Effects

First of all, one of the positive effects of technology is development. Children are the future of the world and they must to know how to use this technology and how to develop their knowledge. Depending on their age they can get a huge amount of information about a lot of things that will equip them with skills in their life, especially for their future. According to Meadows, Mikki, and Frances Murphy, ”the next generation will be called upon to work together–to move beyond the injustice, intolerance, resentment, and anger that has been such weighty baggage in United States.” So children cannot achieve all of these without technology, we have to help them and teach them how they can develop skills from the internet and see what is around them.

According to “Using technology in early childhood environments to strengthen cultural connections,” the following objectives are recognized to support developmentally suitable work with young children in the area of multiculturalism and differences. First they begin to understand who they are and how they fit in to the group. In addition, they are going to get their knowledge from their culture and practices which form about the country which they come from. Furthermore, thy can build a feeling of identifying with how things are similar and respect differences. Additionally, they have to be able to understand when the situation is unfair and how can they participate in changing (Meadows, Mikki, and Frances Murphy).

Furthermore, while there are a lot of commercial approaches, games, and activities that are inappropriate when trying to support an environment for children that support the growth of cultural competence, the good use of the technology in early childhood development is important to apply now for academic achievement. In addition, it helps improve children’s skills and knowledge. So what parents should be aware of is that they are the first school for children, and they have to know what is better for their children and use it. Additionally, there is a study showing that using the internet increases children’s reading ability, and helps them improve their scores on reading tests (Jackson), (Serim).

Second, there are many effects of technology in social life. In the past there were not technology devices as in this generation, and they just had a certain limit of media and news. However, when they compare the current life and the past life they are going to see that there is a huge difference between them, and technology has created an important place in their daily and practical life, when they want to contact with their family and friends, schools, university, hospitals, and companies. So now most families in each house have at least three technological devises. However, there are some families whose income is not enough to buy one of these devises. Some argue that the costs of the equipment will go down dramatically in the next few years, making computer communications as affordable as televisions and VCRs (Montgomery). With these developments, children normally will need to use it. Because of that parents have to balance it use, and tell them about what they should use it for. As they grow, children will improve their knowledge and their understanding about media.

Negative Effects

First, there are negative sides of social media. Many online services are now available that seek to challenge children by exposing them to places, people, and “ideas far outside their everyday experiences” (Montgomery).

Additionally, some of the online sites target children’s minds to confuse it, or to write about themselves in the media which is widespread and public around the world, and that will affect them. They do not have mature thinking to know right and wrong. The quality of the new media culture for children also raises concern, we had better to be aware of their use and monitor it.

The second negative effect on children is when they have free time they might spend it on sexual websites, sexting, and making a wrong relationship (Bower). For example, in the school with their classmates, they may listen, and share some videos and pictures. This will build their curiosity of what is this? And because they are not aware about the dangerous of it, this will hurt their thinking and behavior, in school and in relationship. Also this might cause a deviation in their thought, so if this happens to them, their future will be severely damaged.

However, there are strategies to deal with this; an e-safety program can be created (Bower) and installed in schools and on children’s electronic devises. Moreover, the government can apply software to block these websites. If they do this in their country, it will help protect children in this age and young people from pornographic websites.

New technologies are here and it will continue to develop. Schools should teach children not just to use the technology, but to learn also: how to use the technology to communicate safely (Bower), knowing the unsuitable websites, contact and conduct (Bower). In addition, for that realize the limit of online as well as offline; digital activity use the technology to support their development (Bower). Finally, ask for help when things go wrong, and not just be silent about it (Bower).

In conclusion, these are the positives and negatives effects of technology on children. And we must be aware of these devices and, how to control children’s use to not guard them from the danger of it. We can try to make them benefit from it and in develop their skills.

Works Cited

  • Bower, Peter. “Growing up in an online world: the impact of the internet on children and young people: the internet is helping to shape young people’s lives and influence how they develop. Are we in need of a culture change? How can schools help?” Community Practitioner, vol. 86, no. 4, 2013, p. 38+. Academic OneFile. Accessed 18 Apr. 2017.
  • E-learning: Putting a World-class Education At the Fingertips of All Children: The National Educational Technology Plan. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Educational Technology, 2000.
  • Jackson, Linda A., Alexander vo Eye, and Frank Biocca. “Children and Internet Use: Social, Psychological and Academic Consequences for Low-income Children.” American Psychological Association. December 2003. Web. Accessed 16 April 2017.
    Meadows, Mikki, and Frances Murphy. “Using technology in early childhood environments to strengthen cultural connections.” Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual, 2004, p. 39+. Academic OneFile. Accessed 18 Apr. 2017.
  • Montgomery, Kathryn C. “Children in the digital age.” The American Prospect, no. 27, 1996, p. 69+. Academic OneFile. Accessed 18 Apr. 2017.
  • Serim, Ferdi. “All aboard! Moving every child ahead in a digital age.” Multimedia Schools, Jan.-Feb. 2003, p. 14+. Academic OneFile. Accessed 18 Apr. 2017.
  • Steiner-Adair, Catherine,, and Teresa Barker. The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. First edition. New York: Harper, 2013. Print.
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