Thursday, January 23, 2014

Digital devices are good for children - guest speaker

What an interesting debate so let's take a break! I will try to sum up in an non-partial way the arguments of both sides to make this debate clearer for all of us. I will begin with one of the most sensitive subject : digital devices among the family. (Continues below the fold.)

by FDB 

Indeed the opposing team says that these new devices are making the relationships weaker among the family because children usually prefer to exchange with people outhere rather than their parents or brothers and sisters. But another point of view constits in seeing digital devices as things which make relationships easier when someone is far away: everybody is reachable anywhere, anytime in world more globalized everyday. Skype is a very good example of a device which allow this kind of relathionship wherever the people are.

We are talking about a globalized world but we all know that there are such inequalities in this world that a lot of people cannot afford the cost of digital devices (500$ an ipad, even 100$ a computer remains too expensive in some part of the world). It seems to be one more gap between rich and poor, but the proposing team speaks of a “revolution” like the one Gutember launched more than 500 years ago. And like all revolutions it has a point where it starts, so we can expect that in a few decades everybody could afford these new devices thanks to falling prices and fast speading. And “40% of the children living in rural areas use the internet for their homework in Thailand” is a good start.
Another clash point I want to highlight is about violence, bullying and sexual abuse. To decide on which side you are, you simply have to answer these questions : do you think digital devices allow more bullying or hazing? Or do you think it makes abuses more visible? And if devices only make it more visible, it would be easier to fight it the propers say. I let you make your mind on this point and I come to the debate about scool. This is indubitably a sensitive and one of the most intersting point of this motion. The proposing team depicted a use of digital devices in classroom in order to make the learning time more attractive, more efficient and even funny thanks to video games, films... It also allows children to master those devices earlier than their parents, and “a study conducted by the university of Vienna even proved the web boosts the IQ” the second proposer quoted. But there is another reality, where digital devices are only reducing attention span, where pupils are surfing on internet rather listening to the teacher. In some more extreme cases children are addicted to video games or television and it could put there health (physical and mental) in danger. 
So, should we ban digital devices from the life the children and the dangers it contains? Or should we let them use and enjoy it?
Whatever you think, vote in all honesty!


  1. Using digital devices too much in class isn't good for children. Indeed it will make it more difficult for them to learn, because they will be expecting the use of digital devices in every lesson, and will just get bored if not. Trying to make lessons more entertaining though the use of digital devices will just make it harder for them to learn because they will get bored and distracted more easily.

    1. I disagree on your last point, because digital devices allow new things in classrooms and a new relationship between teachers, knowledge and children. I think you stick on a view of digital devices as a funny toy to entertain pupils and not as a new tool in the education system. Because it could be very useful and not entertaining at all (the finance e-learning at ECP is a very good exemple).