Gigabytes And Grades: Some Effects Of Technology On Childhood Development And Learning

1004 words - 5 pages

In a world of twenty-four hour hour news, iPhones, touch screens, and laptops, it is not surprising that each year there are more and more children being exposed to, and welcomed into this technologically advanced society. It is not uncommon to see seven year olds using the newest gadgets with surprising efficiency, however, one must ask themselves what effects this new technology driven world is going to have on the younger generations? Are these kids going to become the most efficient multi-taskers to be seen, or is this boom in technological advance, and the societal pressure to be adept at even the newest technologies going to create a generation of youth who do not know how to get through the day without constant internet feeds and the connectedness to the entirety of the technological world? The effects of this increase in technological use by the younger generations of today’s society must be evaluated, and a few main areas where this change seems to have an influence include the youth’s changing sense of morality, children’s social skill development, and the use of these technological advances to provide more efficient and effective means of learning to children. These areas have all been studied rigorously in the past few years as technology has continued to advance, and work to provide insight into the effects of technology on early childhood development and learning.
It is not uncommon in today’s world to notice kids with a seemingly warped sense of morality. That is not to say that all kids do not understand right from wrong, or that this is a phenomena that only exists in today’s technology driven world, however the morality of the youth has seemed to decrease (or maybe more aptly just shift) as a whole as technology is more widespread. So far the term ‘technology’ has been used generically, but in regards to morality specific effects, the technology that seems to have the most predominant effect on the youth is the exponentially increasing video games industry, especially those of violent nature. By narrowing down ‘technology’ to strictly the effects of video games, in this example, one can look at exactly how violent games effect the moral outlook of children who use said games. As of 2005 the video game industry account for approximately $29 billion in the US alone (Wong, 2006) and 53% of video games played by first to third graders contained violence (Funk, 2005). But does violence in a simulated world translate into real life scenarios? “By being active participants in a violent video game, children both observe aggression on the screen and are rewarded for acting aggressively. Over time, these children learn that violence is both a likely occurance in the world and the aggression is an appropriate response to events. These cognitive scripts may become a guide for future behavior, leading to a greater potential in aggression” (Hastings, 2009). Children are being repeatedly exposed to violent behavior, and as a result their...

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