In recent years, government, scholars, and the media have heralded the emergence of a new social problem, the digital divide. This term refers to the phenomenon of unequal access to personal computer technology, a divide separating families who have computers and access to the Internet at home from families who do not. People who already suffer economic or social disadvantages are likely to experience even worse problems in the future because they are being excluded from a computer revolution that is redefining social and economic life in our society.
Children’s education has become a focal point in discussions of the digital divide. If computers are powerful tools for learning, then children who lack access to computers in their homes or in their schools are likely to suffer serious disadvantages that may change the way they learn throughout their childhood years. Educational and social inequality may increase if less affluent children or children of lesser educational ability use inferior computers at school or if their teachers are not well trained in the use of computers.
Some researchers claim that information technologies can harm children, especially young children. Computer activities displace other forms of recreation or learning opportunities among young schoolchildren aged 13 and younger. The supplement also measures young children’s cognitive skills, self-esteem, and other aspects of well being, allowing us to determine whether children who use computers at home differ on these outcomes compared to those who lack technological access. Researchers argue that computers unleash the creative impulse in children and allow children to become aware of how they think and learn.
Computers should be integrated into regular classrooms, and the pedagogical approach should be drastically restructured, so that many types of schoolwork are pursued via computer. These researchers identify many potential dangers of children’s computer use, from vision problems to bad posture, but their main worry is that computers will affect childhood learning experiences. For young children, they are concerned that computer use will cut into play and physical activities that are important for emotional and cognitive development.
Some claim that young children are not ready for computer-based learning. They learn instead through interactions with tangible materials, through play, and by interacting with nature. Young children need to spend lots of time outdoors, and time in social interaction with teachers and other children. The way computers teach children may be inappropriate for their age. One study showed that 8th grade students who use computers more frequently at school have lower mathematics test scores than students who use computers less often.
However, in hundreds of school-based experiments, computer applications have improved children’s performance in reading, writing, and basic mathematics. Students in an experiment’s computing group gain roughly three months over their non-computer counterparts, using the educational progress made in a normal school year. According to some teachers, computers do not currently have a strong impact on dent learning because most teachers find them to be of limited utility and hard to deploy in their daily teaching, and therefore use them in small doses.
Computers may have a greater effect on the emotions or personality development of young children than on their cognitive development or skills. Among teens and adults, one study found greater use of the Internet was associated with a small significant decline in involvement in social networks and increased feelings of loneliness. Some believe the possibility that computers might contribute to obesity in children. No one has reported this directly, but since previous research has linked eave television use to obesity, scholars infer that heavy computer use might produce a similar effect. , like many researchers, believe that there are both negative and positive affects of computer use. Through computers, children have the access to information and websites that may cause problems. One of my biggest concerns is child molesters who use the Internet to harm young kids. There have been cases where these sick people would meet up with young girls who they have met online and rape them. I certainly wouldn’t want that to happen to my child because they were using the computer for a wrong purpose. Also a child has the access to porn and other sexual websites.
A lot of times it depends on parents. Parent, who does not pay much attention to their children when they are using computers, may find that their kids are involved in some of those negative things. However, there are many more positive things of computer use within children. With computers, children have access to information that a book or teacher may not offer, which will help them understand the topic. There are programs for almost every school subject that take you step by step in making sure that a student understands his/her topic.
I believe that use of computers will make children more productive and better prepared for their future. Studies have shown that children’s school performance has become better. Their reading and math skills are more effective. Schools have to find a way to use computers more often when doing class assignments because by doing so, they help prepare these kids for the real world which is dominated by computers. There are negative things of computer use that may affect our children, but we have to realize that the positive things like better education and better life sure outweigh a lot of those negative ones.