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28% of parents worry that technology in schools leads to decreased attention span

A recent survey conducted by an online label company revealed 88% of people acknowledge that technology has an overwhelmingly positive effect on students, although 28% are concerned that it could lead to a reduction in attention span.

Technology is advancing at an extraordinary rate and now influences all parts of modern life, from the way we communicate to the world to the way we learn new skills. Nowadays, schools have access to the latest and most up to date technology for students to use to help with their studies, from iPads and tablets to Smart Boards. A recent survey conducted by Data label asked the question: “Do you feel technology in schools has a positive effect on children?”

The vast majority (88%) stated that they believe that the technology available to students has pushed them forward to learn and take full advantage of their education. Parents were also asked what they felt were the disadvantages of using technology in schools, with the main concern being a decrease in attention span.

The biggest disadvantages according to respondents were:

  • Decreased attention span (28%)
  • Hardware and software issues (17%)
  • Lack of fine motor skills development (16%)
  • Damage to children’s eyesight (12%)
  • Risk of over stimulation (10%)
  • Carpal tunnel and repetitive strain injuries (7%)

Parents also expressed what they felt the biggest advantages were. 32% said developing modern skills was the biggest benefits, followed by easier access to learning resources and tools.

The list of what parents felt were the biggest advantages were as follows:

  • Developing modern skills (32%)
  • Access to learning resources and tools (29%)
  • Instant access to information (18%)
  • Enhanced traditional ways of teaching (8%)
  • Opportunity for individual learning (6%)
  • Special needs education support (5%).

Participants largely agreed that there were many benefits of having tablets for education, but it was clear from the survey that there can be certain drawbacks.

Technology can be beneficial but only when used correctly. Just giving the teachers the technology without further training in how to incorporate it in the classes makes it pointless and unnecessary in my opinion.”

“If it’s preparing them ready for the future, then yes, however, if distractions are still reoccurring with studies, then perhaps more moderation is required.”

 “Yes, but we should be careful with over reliance and education of how to use technology responsibly is required.”

Philip Carlyn of Data Label commented:

“Technology can certainly improve study, develop interactions and attract more interest for subjects. As technology improves and develops more and more, students will value these practises at a younger age and will be able to produce a more efficient flow of study and overall improve their test results. If we look back to the days of book sharing and only having limited access to computers each week, times have truly moved forward. Advances have even been made in schools around the UK thanks to technology, with the majority of schools now utilising iPads and tablets for all the young pupils in the classes now.”

He added:

“However, there can been a downside from students using too much technology, with fears that young students are not learning how to hold a pen properly, for example. Another problem is students holding or staring too closely to the screens, which leads to a strained vision and sore eyes after long periods of use. We’ve gone through a lot of changes over the years, and technology is another one of these that needs to be carefully monitored, but overall will benefit students of all ages.”

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