Tuesday, April 02, 2013

the child, the tablet, and the developing mind...,

NYTimes | I recently watched my sister perform an act of magic.

We were sitting in a restaurant, trying to have a conversation, but her children, 4-year-old Willow and 7-year-old Luca, would not stop fighting. The arguments — over a fork, or who had more water in a glass — were unrelenting.

Like a magician quieting a group of children by pulling a rabbit out of a hat, my sister reached into her purse and produced two shiny Apple iPads, handing one to each child. Suddenly, the two were quiet. Eerily so. They sat playing games and watching videos, and we continued with our conversation.

After our meal, as we stuffed the iPads back into their magic storage bag, my sister felt slightly guilty.
“I don’t want to give them the iPads at the dinner table, but if it keeps them occupied for an hour so we can eat in peace, and more importantly not disturb other people in the restaurant, I often just hand it over,” she told me. Then she asked: “Do you think it’s bad for them? I do worry that it is setting them up to think it’s O.K. to use electronics at the dinner table in the future.”

I did not have an answer, and although some people might have opinions, no one has a true scientific understanding of what the future might hold for a generation raised on portable screens.
“We really don’t know the full neurological effects of these technologies yet,” said Dr. Gary Small, director of the Longevity Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of “iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind.” “Children, like adults, vary quite a lot, and some are more sensitive than others to an abundance of screen time.”

But Dr. Small says we do know that the brain is highly sensitive to stimuli, like iPads and smartphone screens, and if people spend too much time with one technology, and less time interacting with people like parents at the dinner table, that could hinder the development of certain communications skills.
So will a child who plays with crayons at dinner rather than a coloring application on an iPad be a more socialized person? Fist tap Dale.


umbrarchist said...

That article is like saying a book is a book. Try comparing Robert Heinlein to Andre Norton? Norton is entertaining but with no ideas. You can analyse and debate Heinlein's ideas for years. Talking about screens without talking about what the applications do is TOTAL NONSENSE.

But then educators might have to address the question of why they have spent decades not supplying a significant reading list books of substance.

CNu said...

Last time I saw the topic of Heinlein come up in the afrosphere, there was no discussion of his imaginary world of ideas, and an awful lot of discussion of the assertion that Heinlein was a toxic racist - all of whose writing must forever more be suspect due to that fact. http://wearerespectablenegroes.blogspot.com/search?q=heinlein

umbrarchist said...

We are talking about a White man born in 1907. If he wasn't racist to some degree he would practically have to be a saint. I just think he had things to say about more relevant stuff than that. For the last 40 years science and technology should have been more important to Black people than racism. But now all of mankind has to figure out how to deal with ELECTRONIC CYBERNETIC EDUCATION when the technology actually makes it possible for people to control it themselves. I say the White folks want everybody paying them to dribble out information forever and needing them to certify other people's brains.

We could have intellectual segregation from the White folks if we worked it right but they want to suck everybody into the cloud.

I find this really interesting:


I was on various Black message boards talking about Black people standardizing on Linux 10 years ago. I didn't expect anything to really come of it but I thought it would at least get some traction as a conversation. EPIC FAIL!

CNu said...

Intellectually aggressive statement of the year!!! For the last 40 years science and technology should have been more important to Black people than racism.Bears repeating as an hypnotic refrain over a contagious beat!!!