The Impact of Technology on Children’s Development
Technological development in the modern society has instigated a number of trends; both positive and negative, in the classroom and at home. Using technology as a means of teaching has received support from the government and state administrations. In a bid to keep pace with needs for education, more investment ought to be made to respond to the needs of the children and for socioeconomic development. This implies that technology can be a mechanism of fast tracking education achievement; for instance, the introduction of computer aided learning or e-learning. On the other hand, if technology is used is misused, it can negatively affect child development. This is because of the development into the entertainment industry where children are exposed to television, the internet, and other entertainment media. Overindulgence in TV watching or unwarranted internet information is impediments to sound academic development. This research exhausts the positive and negative consequences of technology on education of the children.
According to Lawless & Pellegrino (2007), “The importance of technology in educational settings has prompted various organizations, including those responsible for accrediting teacher-education programs, to develop technology-related standards,” (p. 576). The significance of technology in education is eminent; though, not much attention is paid to the massive influence. This is due to the increasing contrast between the use of technology and traditional methods of teaching in responding to the needs of students. Technology improves coherence in instructions and assessments (Newman, Smith, Allensworth & Bryk, 2001). In order to boost the technological advances and positive outcomes in the learning environment, there should be an evaluation plan to give critical information on professional development. This would integrate technology as a mechanism for giving instructions from teachers to learners. The integration would have three main phases: a phase I where inquiries give skeleton information, phase II where an in-depth analysis is done, and phase III final assessment is done. The entire process may be hectic but necessary initiatives should be taken for smooth and sound investment in human resource capital in order to enhance the provision of education through technology (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007).
On the other hand, Hallam (2010) note that recent development technology have allowed effective studies of the brain. An active engagement with music develops the intellectual abilities, improves social behaviour and personal development of school going children. “In early childhood there seem to be benefits for the development of perceptual skills which affect language learning and which subsequently impact on literacy,” (Hallam, 2010, p. 281). The rhythmic coordination of music allows learners to acquire literacy skills as it improves language learning. In the current wave of technological development, students can access latest music media in modern gadgets like phones, computer, and earphones. Music (Hallam, 2007) and television Moses, (2008) are motivational sources that would help students if listened to responsibly. Music improves self-efficacy, self-esteem, and creates aspirations if ample time is given to studies. On the contrary, over-indulgence in TV programs could compromise education of the children. For instance, “favourite cartoons and children’s programs could be traced to various American, Japanese, Australian, and British sources,” (Lum, 2008, p. 113). The children watch these programs in the morning before departing to school and during weekends. The main reason for television culture is attributed to enhancement of media available on the children playing space in the modern living room setup. The play space is just few meters from the entertainment gadgets (Lum, 2008).
This section examines methodologies and approaches that were appropriate for this research. The research adopted projective approach that allowed the participants to reveal their withheld thoughts on a particular object. This measure was focused on delineating participants’ hidden or repressed thoughts over the impact of technology on children’s development. The relevance of this technique revolves around its capacity to elicit responses from participants that would have not been possible through other techniques. The use of stimuli in eliciting response from the participants enabled them to respond in the in the most relaxed way. Furthermore, a projective technique allowed for the collection of rich, valuable and accurate information. The research engaged 3participants who were asked questions contained in Appendix II attached herein. The participants were adults who had to sign consent form (appendix II) before giving any information. This was to ensure that only adults with the legally recognised age in Australia were engaged in the study.
Limitation of the Inquiry
There was financial constrain to cover a wider area in this research. In this regard, the research study was designed to cover a smaller region whose scope could be managed by the available fund. Some of the areas where critical information could come from were not convenient to go to due to cultural barriers and social constructs. Time also acted as a limitation during the study. In addition, there were cases where participants were unwilling to volunteer information. This suspicion compromised to timely delivery of survey information. The study design involved the use of observation and since was is very difficult to capture all that was needed once, the observation process took a considerable period. This made the whole process costly. Results/Research Findings
First, cross-tabulations were used to reveal the relationship between computer-based learning and non-computer based learning in schools. Then accepting the type of school and its location would be related to the area where students were likely to be found in class. The second cross-tabulation was done for students to determine their preferred type of school. The school ownership choice was the independent control variables. In all analyses the chi-square test was used to see if the patterns that observed in the survey sample were statistically significant for acceptance with confidence level (more than 95 percent confident or P < 0.05). These patterns of differences between groups existed in the population from which the sample was drawn.
Discussion and Analysis
As can be seen in table 1below, those respondents learning in computer- based learning schools were twice as much as those learning in non-computer based school. The number of respondents learning in villages was just as high as that of respondents learning in the city. The number of respondents learning in the cities in non-computer based schools was slightly lower than those learning in computer based school.
Table 1: The type of area where the schools are located (RC only) for both students using IT and students not using IT
Table 2 shows the re-test of the data using the school ownership types as the control variable. The Pearson Chi-Square values indicate that students are more likely to go computer based learning institution than non-computer based learning institution.
Table 2: The type of area where schools located (RC only) for both students using IT and students not using IT use a type of school as independent control
This study was conducted to establish the impact of technology on children’s development: The study hypothesised that computer-based learning has a positive impact on students’ growth and development. First, the data were analysed to gain understanding on the student growth and development. The result shows that the total number of students using IT is high in towns and villages. A few students who like non-computer based schools are found in cities and rural/remote location. The number of student using IT in learning in towns is more than double those found in villages. The same data analysis was done for the students who are not using IT in their learning programs. Results from the observations show that the study hypothesis (H1) is positive. H1affirms that IT has positive impact on the growth and development of children.
Further analysis of the data to confirm the second part of the hypothesis was not carried out with consistent results. The results show that computer-based schools are more likeely to perform better that non-computer based schools. This result confirms the second hypothesis (H2) that technology has no positive impact on the growth and development of children. Regional statistics based on the present study shows great difference between metropolitan and rural/remote areas. The secondary data revealed information on the type of locality where the surveyed schools are based. There were remarkable rural/urban differences in terms of the proportion of students in these schools. The presence of students was larger within schools based in big cities and was generally less significant. This reflects the typically higher attractiveness to students of urban areas where technology in learning is embraced within a larger social context. The social networks play important role in the migration choices of students during the learning period. The proportion of performance of student using IT in these schools is higher than those who are not using it at early ages of life.
Technology application in educational is very important in the modern world in order to achieve the highest academic echelon, class structure and students’ ability to gain extra knowledge (Trawick-Smith, 2003). This has been possible due to the development of Information and Communication Technology, (ICT) that has transformed a greater part of global society. According to Fonseca, & Bujanda (2011) the conventional way of teaching is changing. The field of education is growing due to the use of educational technology initiated under computer-assisted learning curricula that have been in use since the early 1980s. Computer-assisted learning has transformed the pedagogical approach to embrace an education curriculum which focuses on the needs of student and their growth. For instance, classes have been redesigned to accommodate internet services and classrooms have been equipped with multiple computers to be used by students.
Technological advancement in educational has enabled students to gain extra knowledge since its inception (Marilyn, 2010). Technology has transformational benefits in children since it helps in expanding students’ knowledge and boost critical thinking. The establishment of technology in many schools for early child development was made possible due to individualization of instructional learning to all students and in continuous development of teaching methods. It is prudent to note that the success and implementation of educational technology is anchored on the capability of instructors to apply the innovations which are appropriate and benefits students. These innovations and applications in IT comprise on web-based designs, hyperlinks, multimedia, interactive 2-D and 3-D graphics and animation, modelling, data visualizations, geo-location, and community-oriented features among others. With the above knowledge, a child’s experience is significantly transformed and students will enhance their abilities to master key concepts in class and ITC world in order to meet future challenges. The students will be next in corporate market to take place of the current group of employers, employees and business leaders.
Technology has a great impact on the development of the brain. Information processing theories attest to the fact that human early interaction with technology in terms of machines, toys, computers just to name a few enhance information processing rate in children. In information processing theories of development’s basic assumption is that thinking in itself is information processing. Instead of focusing on stages of development, the focus is directed to the information that children represent the processes that they apply to the information and the memory limits that constrain the amount of information they can be represented and processed.
In addition, information-processing theories of development emphasise on precise analysis of change mechanisms. Production system “are a class of computer-simulation languages that have proved useful for modelling cognitive development” (Vitalsource, 2012). Each production is a rule that shows what the system would do in a particular situation. Neo-Piagetian theory “maintains the strengths of Piaget’s approach while adding the strengths of information-processing approaches” (Vitalsource, 2012). Basically, it incorporates stages much like Piaget’s with the emphasis on goals, working memory limitations, and problem-solving strategies.
Vitalsource, (2012) writes that connectionist theories “are computer simulations of how thinking occurs”. Much of the reason for the popularity of connectionist models is their general resemblance to the workings of the brain. Psychometric theory on the other hand clarifies “the processes measured on tests of mental abilities, such as intelligence tests” (Vitalsource, 2012). This has been associated with the Intelligence Quotient, (IQ) test. On the other hand, evolutionary theory explains that, “competition among species is a basic aspect of existence. Species originate and change through two main processes: variation and selection” (Vitalsource, 2012). Psychometric theory which uses IQ is equally important. This because it has proved accurate over a period of time and it normally produces results despite some small errors.
Human growth and development is fundamental to societal existence. In this regard, a number of scholars have come up with theories to explain the concept of growth and development. Early child development is critical in human life (Marilyn, 2010). To start with, development and growth are gradual and involves different stages. Towards this, the Erikson theory of development strives to explain the concept of human development into details. Unlike Freudian theory of development, which stipulates that a person's personality is identified at age five, Erikson theory argues that humans develop is continuous and covers one’s life span. Erikson theories of development are eight psychosocial stages that people pass through in life.
Technological experiences and interaction in school play a role in developing new skills. Children learn from books, equipments and also from their peers. The existence of different children from different background offers an opportunity for children to learn new cultures. New cultures coupled with learning in school make children to adopt a feeling of industry and competence.
The feeling of industry lays a foundation for greater things in child development. Parents should therefore allow their children to experience the adventures of early stage of development in a child. This will go a long way in shaping a child character and his future life. Technology plays a critical role in the development of a child mentally. This is because technology enhances critical thinking. Critical thinking is very important not only to a child but also for an adult. Therefore, earlier interaction with technology has a positive impact on children growth and development. The population should nonetheless be wary of the negative use of technology in a manner that is likely to distort the learning mind. Over indulgence in TV watching or too much time in online gaming are detrimental to child development. Therefore, as much as technology is embraced at the learning centres, parent should take caution by controlling children’s time on TV and other entertainment gadgets.