An Evaluation of the Impact of Technology on Child Development
This research paper is An Evaluation of the Impact of Technology on Child Development.
The world today is a developing village and technology has become an essential tool that cannot be ignored. However, over dependence, dependence and technology abuse are some of the issues that afflict the society negatively and positively depending on the outcomes of its use. Children are involved in scenarios such as the use and technology development.
Ease and growth to technological gadgets as well as applications have caused children to adapt to technology use in large scale. Curriculum and schools are also changing over time to ensure the impact of technology flows well to the teaching methodologies as well as classrooms.
Therefore, the inevitable use of technology amongst the youth, children and adults and more specifically in the learning process and cognitive development cannot be ignored.
This research focuses mainly on the article ‘’Growing up Digital, Wired for Distractions’’ by Matt Ritchell. The article analyzes the impact of technology/internet on cognitive development of young people, their ability to smoothly integrate into the society and their education. The main focus of the paper is additionally on the impact of internet as well as other forms of media commonly used by young people and students for entertainment to play games, TVs, chat via social media websites and smartphones as well as those that are used for communication purposes
The use of technologies by the youth is widespread and it has a great impact on their growth. The scenario is quite different from what happened to previous generations. The internet has therefore changed their attitudes, behaviors, societal integration, learning patterns, communication process and progress, their adaptation, relation and technology use completely.
A number of research questions have to be hypothesized with an aim to enhance the quality of research and to achieve research objectives. First, what is the purpose and penetration of technology amongst the selected age group? How does it affect their learning process as well as cognitive development? What are the negative and positive impacts to technological dependence, growth on growth and youth integration into the society? Would there be change on the group’s association and social integration of the same group into the society in absence of technology and how does the group compare with previous generations that lived under minimal technology exposure or without technology?
These are some of the most crucial questions that will be used in the study. The questions will aid in formulations of the impact of technology on growing children. It will also derive its data using different methodologies to help enhance the quality of research and to expound the scope of the study.
Negative effects of the use of Technology
Technology has a profound effect on growing children. In this relevance, there are a number of researchers into this issue. Their focus has been mainly on the effects of technology among other factors including the ability of children to grow up physically, psychologically and mentally. The impact of technology on growing children has been considered a raw research area in some articles and that it should be ignored based on the fact that children are important.
The mental effect of technology has been described as cognitive because it affects a child in many ways including behaviors and growth structure. This also affects the ability of children to solve problems, their ability to learn, retrieve and retain information stored in memory.
Markus Dworak in 2007 carried out a research study at the German Sport University, Cologne focusing on the boy’s abilities when exposed to different degrees of media and their effects to their learning. Boys between 12 and 14years in the research played video games for an hour daily after completing their homework.
The boys on other nights could watch an exciting movie or TV after doing their homework. In this research study, the researcher focused on viewing the effects of watching TV or movies as well as subsequent effects of playing video games on the ability of the boys to retain and retrieve information from their stored memories. The researchers also examined brainwave patterns of the boys while asleep and their ability to retain the content of their homework.
The researchers concluded that playing video games lowered sleep quality compared to watching TV. It also reduced their ability to retain and retrieve information from stored memory. Even so, the major effect of retention and memory retrieval could not be established because it was indistinct as to whether it was caused by the intensity of games or poor sleeping patterns.
Children who were exposed to violence on video games and TV are often under intense stress and adrenaline rush because they are not in a position to differentiate between fiction and reality. They also experience state of unease, increased heart and breathing rates as well as periods of shaking body sensations. The symptoms are additionally known as persistent hypervigalent sensory system where the body is always on constant alert. The agility is also considered one of the causes of abnormal sleep patterns and sleep deprivation.
A research from the University of California analyzing the ability of the brain to process and subsequently retain information also supports the viability of this article. The researchers in the study focused on the ability of a rat to process information under different scenarios. The rats were exposed to different environments including new ones where their brain’s capacity was observed for information analysis.
They also deduced that rats processed new information when resting because this is the time when new patterns that can be used to retain memories are created. When applied to humans, this information can be comfortably observed using imaging studies showing how brain activities increase in a person’s inactive state for example when sleeping.
Therefore, it is clear that it is essential to maintain sleep patterns for the brain to process information. Children who are exposed to TV and video games among other technologies today have increased brain stimulation, which may affect their ability to process and retain information. Even so, the credibility of this research is that during downtime, the brain activity is affected thus; its ability to process information and this cannot be used as the only sole reference of the negative impact of technology.
This is based on the fact that the study does not closely asses pertinent factors that affect’s an individual’s ability to retain and retrieve info. For example, one of the factors that have been seemingly neglected is intelligence quotient (I.Q) of the subjects affecting one’s cognizance.
Additionally, the relationship between playing video games and watching TV cannot be used as sole reference for poor memory retention. There are other underlying psychological factors that distract children while doing their homework or learning. They include family related stresses, peer influence and social welfare. They affect a child’s concentration and their ability to process and consequently retain information.
Dr. Rich and Daniel Anderson, renowned researchers alluded to the fact that playing video games and watching TVs should not be used as the only reference to lack of cognizance in children. They instead adduce other factors including the use of technologies such as smartphones and computers could be blamed. The researchers also believe that smartphones and computers brings about multitasking on different agendas in children, thus, waning their focusing ability.
The devices offer distractions that shift an individual’s focus continuously and young people have adopted the behavior. Dr.Rich argues that the brains of children are wired from that of adults therefore, making the habituated behavior permanent in many cases.
Positive effects of the Use of Technology
Despite its negative effects, technology can be used as a learning tool during the development of a child. There are many opportunities which children can exploit when using technology. For example, Matt Ritchell reveals how Vishal employs the use of technology as a learning tool much faster. Instead of going through a semester book with many long pages that would take long periods of time, he utilizes YouTube.
YouTube is faster and saves a lot of hours that would be spend on reading. This technology application has also been extensively used to enhance learning process. The use of search engines including Bing and Google have also been highly instrumental in retrieving educational information that would have taken many hours on perusals of many textbooks and massive pages.
There are also different applications that can be used on smartphones to enhance learning process through provision of educational material. These applications can be used in breeding of students who are highly wired to smartphones. Studies additionally reveal that penetration of smartphone use among students between age 12 and 24 is about 65 percent. This shows that smartphones can be converted to become effective teaching learning tools in and out of school setting.
Technology can also be used as learning too amongst students who are tech savvy. It helps to develop their skills and talents. Ritchell also displays skills and talents developed by Vishal in film making based on his fascination with digital video making and developing his passion.
This talent and passion have also made him a highly respected YouTube video loader while others refer him to as a YouTube bully. The ease of technology availability is coupled with the curiosity of young minds and the zeal for acquiring new and interesting knowledge as it presents them attractive revenue for them to acquire and develop knowledge that could easily blossom into a career.
There are also numerous cases where young people have been involved in computer programming that they seem interesting. This knowledge is in some cases acquired without necessarily accessing classes but by using video online tutorials and becoming IT experts. The knowledge from computers results in a cropping up of a generation of young hackers that IT and security companies use to asses’ security of their systems as well as their ability to be well protected from any breach.
This research study is aimed at how technology has impacted different generations. Several considerations had to be made to enhance the quality of the study as well as the quantity of data retrieved from the research, budget and time constraints. Adherence to ethics of research was very crucial to avoid cases of plagiarism, copyright infringement, credibility of the paper and poor neutrality.
Similarly, it was paramount to use reviewed peer sources that were also acceptable academically and professionally. This is to ensure that the retrieved information could be referenced accurately to other sources to help enhance the resourcefulness and credibility of the paper. To get credible data, quantitative and qualitative research methods had to be employed. The choice of research methodology was also carefully carried out to ensure that they were in line with budget, research time and research parameters among other related factors.
Qualitative methods that will be used in the research study include secondary information sources such as online publications, peer reviewed articles and books among other sources. Quantitative methods that will be used include survey, sampling, quantitative content analysis and measurement. A collection of methodologies will ensure that the quantity and quality of a research study and data is of the highest standards possible.
The use of sampling and surveys was an intricate process and it required conciseness and agility. Demographical parameters chosen in the study were based on education level, income status, gender and age. Sample size was also of great importance because the use of several sample groups with surveys and similar questions is quite different from the use of having many surveys and one sample group.
The surveys were also fused together with research interviews with an aim of speeding up the process and as a way of avoiding confusion during tallying process. As a result, different questionnaires were used for different survey groups and sample sizes. The questionnaires also had different sections that all respondents were required to fill.
The sections that were valid to the research study included status in society whether parent or student, age, the role of technology in learning including negative and positive riles as well as technology contributions in the past and in the present for parents.
The second quantitative methodology to be used in the research is content analysis. This performs a restrictive and structured research methodology where information analysis and retrieval of data is carried out intricately with an aim of developing content, theories and subject matter. This is a very crucial methodology bearing in mind it carefully analyzes large volumes of data, surveys and statistics to generate accurate, clearer, concise and minimal information to be fitted into a reasonable survey sample with averages that will be statistically plotted. On the other hand, this process is often time consuming, requires a methodical analysis of data and laborious because the data is not drawn from conclusions or skimmed through.
One of the benefits of using this methodology in research is that it can be employed efficiently in initial research stages to draw the scope and parameters for other research methodologies. This is based on the fact that reconnaissance of data allows for proper analysis of retrieved information from different media content and sources.
Research interviews also offer an exclusive opportunity for a researcher to repeat the interview many times with an aim of collecting sufficient information especially in cases where it seems hazy. Similarly, personal nature of interviews allows researchers to probe respondents on pertinent areas that would ensure the information collected is concise and detailed.
Two sample groups were derived from the research. The main group however was persons who were born between 1993 and 2003. The other sample group was parents to the initial sample group and who varied in gender, ages, education, income levels and race. This ensured that the quality of research study was honest and unbiased since it included demographic data.
Research interview will also be performed on parents to get information on their growing up, their personal views of development status of their children where technology is a key factor to children and parent’s development. Use of content analysis will also aid in data analysis of past researchers and in generation of data on the impact of technology on past generation compared to the present generations.
Findings and implications
From the information retrieved from the researchers, there are deductions that can be made. The sample of those born in 1993 to 2003, believed that technology has impacted their daily lives. It has become an important tool in learning as it enhances the process because it allows for easy accessibility of educational material online.
80 percent of those who were interviewed strongly believed that technology reduced the burden of accessing educational material and it has resulted in a system where teaching is becoming unnecessary learning material. Even so, 60 percent of the respondents believe that technology proliferation has impacted their learning process. Presence of technologies including computers and smart phones on the other hand has become distractions interfering with educational experience on daily basis. They also believe that if certain technologies were eliminated, the focus of the sample group could be improved.
Parents’ to 48 percent of the students also strongly believed that technology hash negatively impacted learning ability of their children. They also believe that technology has played a great role in making their children lazy and ‘can do it yourself’ phrase has been taken over by a mindset that says ‘‘let someone else do it’’.
Children are also depending on technologies continually to accomplish social and educational tasks that would otherwise have been done using other channels. Therefore, they consider that their technological experiences have been better based on the fact that learning has been enhanced a great deal; they have become knowledgeable and enabled them to look for information among other necessities with more agility.
However, 34 percent of the parents are contended that the age and era of technology has positively affected development of their children and their learning process. The reasons for this are greatly attributed to the fact that children are in a better position to learn much faster and can easily absorb more knowledge over a very short period of time compared to the past years where technology use in the classroom was nonexistent.
Discussion and Implications
The impact of the research findings reveals that technology has indeed diversified learning and it is not merely confined in the classroom. Its ease of access and mobility have enabled children to have a better learning experience as well as research learning used for educational material by using applications, multitude of tools and gadgets. Majority of the students also believe that without presence of technology, performance in schools and learning would be adversely affected.
Similarly, technology presence has allowed for production of new generation of students. These learners have short concentration spans and are tech savvy but also have ability to complete their tasks efficiently and effectively. This also means that the new breed of students are well redefined in their learning process and play a great role in formulating their rules as they grow up and progress.
The impact of this change is also profound because of the negative and positive effects of technology. The uncontrolled proliferation of using technology irregularly can make the students addicts of behaviors that can affect their health, cognitive development and social welfare.
Positive effects of this proliferation of technology use are that students are now in a better position to learn in groups where they can share their ideas and their thoughts. This also promotes social cohesion and it plays a great role in developing the mindset of children working as a team is a very effective cool if one is to achieve set goals and objectives.
Technology has also become an integral tool for sustenance of a comfortable life for the children. Adapting technology use is also a very seamless task for the age group used in the research study and it prompted the need for one to engage in research on the effect that technology has on children development as well as how it affects them in their education.
Using data and information from different sources, I reviewed past studies into this topic. Following identification and findings of my findings as well as identification of research parameters, qualitative research methodologies and quantitative research methods were also used to derive information and data to determine the impact of technology in the learning process of the young and old.
The results that were computed also seemingly suggested that majority of the respondents from the age groups strongly believed that technology have had a positive impact on learning. Challenges that concern the use of technology were on short concentration spans of students when using them.
The scope of the work that was required for this research study is high based on the diverse model of the research topic. This means that research parameters had to be limited to help reduce the possibility of collecting a lot of data bearing in mind that it would have been a very difficult process precisely and adequately.
Therefore, redefining a research topic would help ensure that the study takes a more concise focus on the topic and that it would later be expounded on. However, this research topic was very effective in ensuring that the necessary focus of the research was maintained and the necessary information was retrieved.
Research methodologies that were also used in the research were additionally effective in retrieving data that was vital to the research topic. Even so, methods that could be used in the research could more effective, less laborious, highly effective on production of useful data and less time consuming.