Modern Teaching Aids: Boon or Bane?

Posted on September 8, 2010 in Education

By Abhilasha Singh:

Few days back while browsing through one local newspaper I was appalled by a photograph, showcasing the big leap in instructive aids using by modern day teachers to educate children. In that photograph children of up to 8-9 years of age were in their seats and a teacher was instructing them through LCD projector. In a dimly-lit classroom anyone could imagine how much strain the delicate eyes of small children could bear.

While the world is growing more and more technologically advanced, thus increasing the need for bright, educated, balanced and healthy individuals, our school systems are falling further and further behind in meeting the needs.

With the current emphasis on technology in education many parents and schools are introducing computers to children at young ages to give them a head start on developing academic skills and to prepare them for the workplace of tomorrow. But recently educators, psychologists and various organizations have raised their concerns about early computer use.

Even though disability can be bridged by technology, a number of questions are being raised on whether this form of educating children is really beneficial for their physical and emotional development?

Physical Development

One of the most compelling arguments made against the use of computers by children is the risk of repetitive motion injury such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This problem may be greater in children than for adults because their musculature and skeletal systems are not fully formed and maybe prone to greater risk for injury.

Many schools advertize in bold letters under the facilities heading that they are providing AC classrooms and even parents opt for such schools for their children without even realizing the harmful effects on their child’s growth.

Researchers indicate that air-conditioning undermines our natural adaptation to heat and hinders the endocrine system. Air-conditioning also leads to obesity. Humans burn calories more slowly in a cool environment and also eat more. Even at homes children prefer to turn up the air-conditioning and work on computers or watch television. Children do not want to go outside for playing games, as a result they get less exercise and this leads to obesity. Another possible risk is eye-strain which may include dryness due to not blinking enough, headaches and blurry vision.

Emotional and Intellectual Development:

Main area of concern is the consequence of intensive early computer use on children’s mental development. Time spent at a computer not only decreases the amount of time available for interaction with humans but it also decreases the amount of time a child spends in creative play. This limits the development of a child’s imaginative skill and creative abilities. Educators emphasizes that direct interaction with others have the greatest impact on a child’s language and literary development.

Students are engaged when they are interacting with teacher and with other students. LCD projectors which are now widely used in schools for educating children fall flat in all means. Student’s engagement is lot more than attending schools, sitting in their seat and behaving.

LCD projector do not engage students, Teachers engage students. It is not teacher’s job to have the students watch while they work. It is teacher’s job to watch while students work. Students do not learn by watching the teacher. They learn while doing or interacting.

New and innovative methods can be a welcome asset, if their original purpose is to supplement and enhance the true methods of education. Instead these new methods replaced those old traditional ways that were working beautifully and left it their place a vast wasteland.

The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.