Recent UNESCO guideline to ban screens in schools is making headlines all over the world. See report below.
Many countries like France had already banned screen based learning in schools – upto age 12 , but looks like UNESCO advisory may focus on the dangers of all screen based learning in schools – for younger children (upto primary grades) at least
In the fast-paced digital age, education has undergone a significant transformation, with screen-based digital learning becoming an integral part of many new age schools. However, the recent advisory from UNESCO rightly raises thought-provoking concerns about the impact of excessive screen time on young learners. As parents, it’s crucial to understand the nuances of this advisory and consider alternatives that prioritize the holistic development of our children.
UNESCO’s Advisory: A Wake-Up Call for Parents
UNESCO’s advisory highlights the potential drawbacks of extensive screen-based digital learning for school children. The organization has expressed concerns about the negative consequences of prolonged screen exposure, including:
Physical Health: Excessive screen time can lead to eye strain, headaches, and disrupted sleep patterns. The blue light emitted by screens has been linked to digital eye strain and sleep disturbances.
Mental Well-being: The isolation and sedentary nature of screen-based learning might contribute to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and even depression among children. Lack of face-to-face interaction with peers and teachers can hinder social development.
Cognitive Development: While technology has its merits, it can hinder critical thinking and problem-solving skills if not used judiciously. Over-reliance on screens might discourage hands-on learning and exploration.
Digital Divide: Not all families have equal access to digital devices and high-speed internet. Relying solely on screen-based learning could exacerbate the existing digital divide, leaving some children at a disadvantage.
Balancing Technology and Traditional Learning
While technology has its undeniable benefits, finding a balance between screen-based learning and traditional methods is crucial for the overall well-being and development of our children. Here are some ideas to consider:
Limit Screen Time: Set reasonable limits on screen time for educational purposes. Encourage a mix of offline activities, outdoor play, and interactive learning experiences. Schools need to encourage usage of books & writing on paper by hand as primary learning source
Interactive Learning: Opt for digital resources that promote interactivity and engagement. Choose platforms that encourage creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration rather than passive consumption.
Varied Learning Channels: Introduce diverse learning channels, such as books, hands-on experiments, and educational games. This approach fosters a holistic learning experience that caters to different learning styles.
Screen-Free Zones: Schools need to be largely screen free – except for an occasional explanatory material to only supplement book based learning. Designate certain areas of your home as screen-free zones, like the dining table and bedrooms. This promotes family interaction and a healthier tech-life balance.
Outdoor Exploration: Prioritize outdoor activities that encourage physical activity, social interaction, and a deeper connection with nature.
Open Communication: Have an open dialogue with your child’s school about their digital learning practices. Advocate for a balanced approach that integrates technology with traditional teaching methods.
With chat GPT – learning skills like reading, writing, research will significantly reduce if children have easy access to digital screens – impacting brain development & overall education adversely
UNESCO’s advisory serves as a timely reminder for parents to critically assess the role of screen-based digital learning in their child’s education. While technology offers incredible opportunities, its overuse can have detrimental effects on physical, mental, and cognitive well-being. Striking a balance between screen-based learning and traditional approaches is essential to nurturing well-rounded, resilient, and socially adept individuals. As parents, let’s take this advisory as an opportunity to reevaluate our approach to education and create an environment that truly supports our children’s growth and development.
@ THE SIXTH ELEMENT SCHOOL WE DO NOT USE LAPTOP / TABLET LED LEARNING. BOOKS AS PER OUR CURRICULAM IS THE STANDARD PROCESS – APART FROM REAL PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS . SO OTHER THAN AN OCCASIONAL DISPLAY TO ILLUSTRATE SOME LEARNING MATERIALS DIGITALLY – SCREENS ARE A NO NO !
WE BELIEVE IN THE IMPORTANCE OF CATALYSING & ENSURING “THE SIXTH ELEMENT -i.e. THE JOY OF LEARNING ” FOR EVERY CHILD. OUR CURRICULAM IS BENCHMARKED WITH THE BEST INTERNATIONALLY, WHILE DRAWING FROM OUR VERY OWN CORE ANCIENT INDIAN BEST PRACTICES9SUCH AS THE GURU SHISHYA PARAMPARA) & VALUES. THANKS TO ITS 18+ YEARS EXPERIENCE AND ITS CORE CHILD DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES DRAWN FROM PIAGET, VYGOSTKY AND BRUNER – WHICH IS INCIDENTALLY THE RESOURCE POOL – FOR THE FOUNDATIONAL YEARS SCHOOL CURRICULUM OF THE UPGRADED NEW EDUCATION (NEP) UNDER ROLL OUT IN INDIA NOW.
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