By Mayukh Saha,
For about a decade now, smartphones have become a part of our lives, a part that none of us can do without. There has been talk of how smartphones mess with our concentration and eyesight, but there is another thing that we have not talked about as much as we should have.
If you do not know, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates made sure that their kids did not have smart phones while growing up and they even saw to it and they were not on the internet all the time. Why did they do that?
Research shows that the use of smartphones can have potentially disastrous effects on the teenage brain. The statistics say that when a child goes active on social media and spends more than a couple hours, they are 27% more vulnerable to develop a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. The result of this can be seen in the ever raising rates of teen suicide, which is now more than the homicide count.
There should have been some awareness when these smartphones were first introduced to us, say Matt Miles and Joe Clement, who have been teaching for a long time and recently published a book, Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse Is Making Our Kids Dumber.
Both of them are in agreement that there should be some kind pf regulation, as far as using smartphones and the internet is concerned, for teenagers. They explain in length how Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had rules that did not allow their children to use smartphones until they were of a certain age. Steve Jobs even mentioned in an interview about why he did not bring in the iPad home when it was first launched because he wanted to restrict the time his children spent on technology.
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In fact, one of Jobs’ associates has mentioned that had Jobs been alive, he would have made sure to spread awareness about technology and social media addiction in kids.
Parents like Jobs and Gates, who are from the Silicon Valley, definitely would not have approved of the educational technology that has been introduced in public schools for a while now. Silicon Valley schools still use traditional teaching methods and are concerned more about values than about coding.
Public schools seem to have adopted a way that reduces human labour but the negative effects are not really being considered. Schools like Waldorf and Brightworks, both reputed Silicon Valley schools are almost nil as far as use of technology in classrooms is considered. They still use books, chalkboards and so on.
Gates has a blog and he recently posted some praises about Summit Sierra, a school in Seattle which personalises an educational experience for the students based on where they want to be, through their teachers and not any kind of technology. Basically, if a student wants to get into Harvard, the teacher comes up with a curriculum that focuses on everything they need to know about getting into Harvard and that particular curriculum is followed.
Gates hopes that this begins the change that we need to see.
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