Shaping the Way We Use Technology Or Not….


A year or so back, I was sitting, catching up on reading mail one afternoon and i come across my graduate school alumni magazine.  The topic that month was related to the use of technology in education. One of the articles talked  about different types of careers that are developing in the field of education, that relate to technology. Really interesting.  It got me thinking about my day-to-day work and the types of things that have happened over the past few years. How are we changing??   

I avoid using technology at work, aside from some apps on my i-phone.  Call me old fashioned; but, there really is a logical reason when you are interacting with young children. Why?   there now is scientific evidence that the use of technology really impacts us.  For example, this article from Scientific America might be eye opening for some https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/reading-paper-screens/ 

One might poo-poo the article that I site in the previous paragraph since the article was written in 2013.   Before YOU choose to do so, copyrighted in 2018 MaryAnneWolf writes the text Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World.  (yes – you CAN get it online at Amazon 🙂  )

  • Wolf continues the dialogue about the influence of technologic reading vs. tangible “book” reading. There are real differences that she suggests: the ability to critically think, reflect and being empathic. She even documents the neurology of reading and how our brains assists is with it (which I can’t give away – you will have to read her book!) and the fact that we don’t use the same aspects of neuroanatomy when reading online. The adage of “use it or lose it” may now be popping into your head. Scary isnt it. My conclusion was that reading a book may actually be a form of exercise for your brain. I myself wonder, is this going to be another addition to the recommended amount of aerobic exercise that we need to maintain health? Interesting rhetorical question or perhaps a “real one” to discuss at your next physical.

New screen-time guidelines for early childhood are outlined in https://www.additudemag.com/screen-time-not-recommended-for-young-children/ and the American Academy of Pediatrics published the following

Among the AAP recommendations:

The idea of developing a Family Media Plan has been suggested HealthyChildren.org/MediaUsePlan.  to help as a guide.

  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health. 
  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
  • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.

Another question that I had in reviewing this information in preparing for a graduate student seminar being given to students studying the field of Speech-Language Pathology was what about adults? Who helps guide us in curbing use of technology so that it is used responsibly. After all, I would challenge my reader to make a list of 25 activities that you engage in during the week that do not involve battery operated devices. Can you? When I asked my students to do so, it was hard. Even the mundane task of grocery shopping in a “real” grocery store where you actually take a shopping cart, walk up and down an aisle and take items off of a shelf was not happening. By a show of hands, few students engaged in that task. No wonder we are becoming an overweight society!

With the above depressing news that has been documented – how technology is affecting our health, I dug up an article that may be of help. I will close with this and a request to consider how technology is affecting your life and how it is affecting the life of those around you. Consider how you can take care of yourself! https://www.rewire.org/living/adults-screen-time-limits/

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