Technology has come onboard with education industry at its revolutionary stage. Tablets, computers, laptops and mobiles are the new and apparently the most engaging modes of learning. Approximately 71% of 5-to-15 year olds have access to tablets and more than 34% of this age group own a tablet.
Learning apps are terrific educational tools – they are fun, enagaing, interactive and most importantly customisable. But technology is like junk food. Too much of it will get you all bloopers. Kids having long screen time on these apps often fall prey to ill-effects. Every good thing has some adverse effects, so does these learning apps. Here are a few points you should be alert about before handing over a learning app to your child.
It Boycotts The Most Powerful Learning Resources – Humans
The most powerful learning resources are humans. After all, humans only developed technology and shaped it for the time we are living in. And there is no doubt that technology is replacing its makers – i.e., the humans. Learning apps are rapidly taking over the place of all the human learning resources, which is not the best thing for a child.
A machine can’t match the way a human teaches and explains things. ‘Learning apps are sufficient’ – that’s the biggest myth of all. Learning apps can complement and assist but they should not be given all the charge since they are not meant for it. While choosing a learning app for your kid, make sure some humanly elements are included in the app, like videos and tutorials given by the teachers.
More Screen Time Lowers A Child’s IQ
You hand over a learning app to your kids with the intention of making them acquainted with technology and at the same time teach them. But you forget about the number of hours your kid spends on it. Research shows that more than two hours of screen time a day reduces a child’s IQ.
You should be alert about the number of hours your kid is spending on these apps. Moreover, try to get a control over it. You can set the timer on the app itself for your child to complete the sessions. This way, your child will learn and won’t have an overly long screen time.
Socialising Becomes A Task For The Child
When a child starts spending more time on learning apps, they tend to communicate less. They start liking being in their corner, learning and surfing on the mobile devices. It becomes their comfort zone and socialising becomes a hard job for them. They start preferring learning apps over group studies.
There is no harm in being an introvert by nature but when technology does it, it’s not the best thing for the child. As a kid, your child should play, have friends and socialise. These things help a kid to grow and explore. You should make your child invite his friends over to your place more often for group studies and fun activities. This way he can have both, friends and a learning app. And socialising won’t be a hard job anymore.
Turns The Child Into A Digital Addict
Research says that 21 days are enough to leave or start any habit. When a child spends time on a learning app, every day, he gets used to it very easily. And after a while it gets very difficult to keep him away from such apps, he gets addicted to it. There is no harm in learning apps when proper balance is maintained.
You should make sure that your child is doing enough of other activities as well. The child should not be on the mobile devices for more than 2-3 hours a day. You must make sure learning apps are just a part of all the daily activities your child does, it should not be his centre of attraction.
Restricts The Development Of Physical Strength And Motor Skills
Physical activities are very important for the development of a child’s motor skills. But nowadays kids love to stay back at home and play video games. Learning apps just add more to it. Learning apps becomes a source of refreshment. This leads to less playing in the fields and almost no physical activities.
It is a good thing that your child desires to learn more and explore – but it should not go over the top. You should try to engage him more in physical activities like exercise, sports, running and jogging. Try to play games which will need him to move around, run and observe. You must find a perfect balance between learning app and physical activities for you kid.
Edges Over The Old-School Methods
Schools are adopting more of the newest technology, making smart classes, using learning apps and projections. As a result of these, somewhere down the line, students are missing out on the old school interactive classes. They don’t get a chance to interact and discuss in the class.
Research shows that when parents read an ebook to their child they do much less interaction than they do when they read a physical book. Parents in the rush of keeping pace with the pages forget to question their child – giving them less opportunity to think and reflect. Which is very important for the child as thinking and reflecting are at the very core of a child’s learning.
You must try to maintain the basic structure of a child’s learning. Read them physical books, question them, let them observe and reflect. Don’t let the learning apps affect the basic structure. Just use them as an addition to the basic way.
Affects The Sleeping Habits
Learning apps are educational but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any adverse effect. It can easily affect a child’s sleeping pattern. More than two hours of screen time a day affects a child’s brain, it lowers the IQ. In the very same manner, it affects the quality and length of sleep.
Research says that parents should limit screen time to an hour for children falling in the age group of two to five. Moreover, you should avoid screens for your child at least an hour before bedtime since the screen lights suppresses the sleeping hormone melatonin.
Makes The Child Less Active
Learning apps can make your child less active. In a few days the child gets used to the learning app and with time it becomes a habit to sit at one place constantly going through the sessions without any other activity. Though your child is learning but it will also make him lazy and an addict to mobile devices.
You should make sure your child is on the app for a limited time. You should motivate him to move around, play, interact with friends and family. Make him help you in small daily jobs like gardening, try to teach him through physical objects around you. Moreover you can take him around for museum and zoo tours.
Influences The Reading Habits
Research shows that the percentage of children reading books in the 6 to 17 age group has fallen down from 37% to 31%. Learning apps include easy to learn videos, which are visually attractive and immediately attracts a child’s attention. A child finds it easy to watch a video and learn rather than reading a book.
Reading is one of the best habits one can possess. And it is a habit which needs to be developed from childhood. You should motivate your children to read, get the books they would be interested in reading like comics, magazines and story books. Don’t let them get too involved in the videos.
Breaks A Child’s Daily Routine
In every way a learning app is capable of ruining a child’s daily routine if not balanced properly. Kids get very excited when they see new things, and a mobile learning app is an altogether different gateway to another world of technology. Its their first touchpoint with technology – and their excitement can lead them to spend most of their time on these apps. They can be on the mobile devices, watching and learning from videos regardless of time. Now it’s upon you to limit their screen time, divert their mind from the app and show them more exciting and productive things.
Learning apps are very useful, they help a child in many different ways. There are a wealth of advantages as well, 24X7 assistance, learning videos, games and a lot more. But you should not forget that it’s just there to complement the current procedure of learning. It should not replace the whole learning procedure and disturb a child’s core learning process.
As parents, you should make sure your child is adapting to the new technology and living the core learning methods simultaneously. You must maintain a balance between the virtual learning and the physical learning.