A few years back, I was very excited to hand my baby daughter her first lapفop for being a grade A student in her school, and yes I do admit that I was pleased to her using it, not knowing that this blessing will turn into a curse down the road!
Day after day, the girl started to get attached to this device, and mind you her mobile did not leave her hand at all. Even when she went to bed and seemed sound asleep, when her mother attempted to remove the phone from her side on the bed, she used to wake scared as if someone had removed her life support line and scrambled to put her hands on the device.
We noticed the grades of this bright girl drop, and when we discussed why, we found out that she was paying less attention to academics and was involved in many activities and that took much of her time. I found myself blaming teachers who did not guide and advise her on how to manage her time and priorities.
I became somewhat sad for giving her that laptop, because she kept using it for her activities and many times I found her awake late at night working on it and I got very angry. All she did was beg me to let her complete her group activities for the week. My daughter was addicted to technology.
My concern was her education in the era of technological development, which is something that cannot be avoided. When it comes to education of our children, we often go the easy way. We place the computer in their hands believing that we provide them with comfort with these devices and programs to prepare them for the future. But simply, it will not do that because many of the current technological methods and means to teach mostly concentrate on training children to use the devices and are not suitable.
What children need instead is education that prepares them as citizens to help solve our urgent social and environmental problems. They need an education that helps them understand the fact that technical skills alone cannot solve these problems and that active social participation and ethical commitment of human beings who represent various cultures will always be necessary.
Our children face a wall of technological challenges that cause changes in the human and environmental biology of the world. They need a different type of technological horizon to get wise choices for their future. The screen with its various colors has invaded children’s lives at all times and places, and they do not have enough time.
There is no evidence of good benefit in the long run – that children receive a good education; rather there are increasing harmful indicators about bad lifestyles and the poor quality of education some governments are strongly promoting.
Finally: It is time for citizens, institutions and decision makers to restore childhood to children.