Shortened attention spans and the rise of “selfie culture” are among the negative impacts of digital learning on today’s students, according to a new analysis. On the up side, e-learning is also cultivating self-control, collaboration and cooperation. Maximising the positives while minimising the deficits depends largely on how schools approach the digital challenge.
"The ubiquitous use of digital tools and environments afforded by mobile devices, social media and the internet creates both risks and opportunities for the development of young people’s social, emotional and critical thinking skills,” notes author Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the prime minister of New Zealand.
Some of the challenges outlined in his 2018 Policy Quarterly report, “The Digital Economy and Society,” include:
Other issues to consider include the potential impacts of artificial intelligence and machine learning on our sense of autonomy and self-control. With emotional health heavily dependent on both concepts, these emergent technologies may have some negative impact.
The speed, scope and pervasiveness of digital technologies is profound, and affecting every aspect of the education system, notes Gluckman.
"The impacts of such technologies include not only the manifest benefits of new digital technologies, but also the implications of what may be the largest and fastest shift in individual, societal and economic relationships and power structures that humankind has ever faced.”
The real challenge for the education sector is how to maximise the advantages and opportunities technology offer, while minimising negative impacts. School leadership teams and boards need to consider cyber safety and their duty of care requirements.
Family Zone Education Solutions take a holistic, ecosystem approach to addressing the challenges schools are facing, including mobile device and BYOD management.
For more information on our School Partner program, visit us at https://www.familyzone.com/schools/contact.
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