As I have written in other EducationUV posts, this degree of device usage comes with a cost. We know that anxiety levels, particularly with youth, have dramatically increased since 2011, when the market for smartphones became saturated. And now research suggests that the chemistry in our brains is changing as a result, too. As people grow dependent on this technology, it decreases the capacity to problem solve, develop logical reasoning, and be creative. When we continually depend on gadgets for information, we decrease our ability to turn what we briefly read on the screen into long-term knowledge that is stored in our memory and used to better understand the world. And of course, teachers and school administrators will tell you that social skills and relationships are dramatically impacted, too.
are just a few of the reasons my school has banned smartphones during the
academic day and why we are working with parents to develop guidelines for
outside-of-school usage, too. The forms that these recommendations will
ultimately take and how they will impact our students is yet to be seen. But
the stakes are too high for us to wait and do nothing. We feel it is our
responsibility and obligation to act in the best interests of our students, and
that means reviewing relevant research, collecting resources, and beginning to
draft recommendations for digital media best practices that will help our
students develop healthy digital media habits.