Technology and the Developing Child’s Brain

I am of an age where I am just a small number of birthday celebrations short of having completed my life. I have watched technology take over every aspect of our lives. From cell phones to self-driving cars, from fit-bits to Alexa in the kitchen, what part of our lives today are not driven by technology? I must confess that my professional career was part and parcel in promoting that technological revolution. Therefore I too am guilty of creating the current status.

COVID-19 has if anything accelerated this drive to immerse children in technology. On-line learning, the use of cell-phones to blunt the social isolation of lock downs, its use as a source of diversion when alone, etc., etc., etc..

And then not to mention the fact that already before COVID-19, our Ontario provincial government was in a running battle with the teaching profession over attempts to use more on-line learning, all in the interests of “efficiency”. I suspect other jurisdictions are promoting the educational use of technology in similar ways.

I just came across this article on the impact of technology on the developing brains of children. The author points out the following:

The young brain is rapidly developing and is quite plastic. What this means is that a child’s experiences literally shape the brain. What gets used frequently is strengthened. The neural circuitry that is unused or rarely used, is pruned off. Children can be influenced greatly for life simply based on the types of activities in which they engage when they are young. This is the “nurture” part of the old “nature vs. nurture” question.

The author is a grandmother and former teacher. She seems to know her stuff. She certainly provides us food for thought for both the present and the future. She comes up with good points and advice on how to deal with this techno-overload.

I hope you find this article interesting and worthwhile.

Published by Resources 4 Teachers & Parents

Resources 4 Teachers is an education website that provides material, activities, lesson plans, books and videos created by teachers for teachers, students and parents.

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