Are Smartphones Making us Dumb?
Power is rapidly transferring to those who understand how to leverage technology. We want our students to be on the right end of that shift. To quote James Curran, founder of the Australian Computer Academy and the creator of Grok, “Be the masters of digital technologies, not the slaves.”
Last week Professor of Neuroscience, Mark Williams, presented the findings of his research into smartphone use in a speech entitled “Are Smartphones Making us Dumb?”
Key points include:
• Smartphones make us antisocial. The more time children spend on them, the less empathetic they are and the less they are able to process and recognise facial expressions. This means their ability to communicate is decreased. Parental use can also be detrimental, with studies showing 12-month-old children whose carers regularly use smartphones have poorer facial expression perception.
• The more friends you have on social media, the less friends you are likely to have in real life, the less actual contacts you have and the greater likelihood you have of depression.
• Information acquired on digital devices often doesn’t always transfer well to the real world.
• Smartphones can mess with our sense of direction and make us feel less connected to physical spaces because they perform navigational tasks for us.
This research from Macquarie University is a timely reminder for teachers to ensure learners are involved in “high value” activities on their digital devices – tasks that not only teach them technical skills, but enable them to acquire valuable secondary skills and a feeling of empowerment and control.
The findings also support the argument for a “digilogue” approach to teaching and learning, i.e. a strategy that doesn’t lean too heavily into digital technologies but engages students’ hearts and minds in the “analogue world” as well.
As parents and teachers we’re preparing our students to thrive in the future. I can’t think of any future scenario where weak minds, bad memories, depression, and poor social skills will be helpful. We need to “out smart” smartphones and digital technologies by being wise in the way we use them in our classrooms and manage them in our homes.
Code Camp Early Bird Discount
These Spring holidays Code Camp are returning to Belmont Christian College to teach your child to code, or to help them continue on their coding adventure!
Code Camp has already taught more than 50,000 students in Australia and is a great way to spend time over the holidays as kids have lots of fun with friends while learning important new skills including logic, creativity, problem-solving, app development and game building. It’s fun and engaging, and gets them prepared to take on the digital world of the future.
This season from Wednesday 2nd – Friday 4th October, Belmont Christian College will be hosting Spark and 2D Game Makers.
The price break has been extended, so get in quick and use this code for $20 off: belmont20 and this expires next Monday night at midnight.
Bookings can be made by clicking here
Code Camp has also been working with Service NSW and it a eligible provider for the $100 Creative Kids rebate! Just enter your rebate code to receive $100 back on your enrolment. Please click here for more information.