Teaching and Learning with the Internet Generation

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Televisions and computers have seemed like this generation's babysitters, but these electronic tools are more than what they seem. They seem like distractions both for child and adult, but electronic tools are vehicles for brain development and learning. In fact, the new generation of parents is "very education oriented," (Barnes, Marateo, & Ferris, n.d.). Technology saturation might have been considered a leisurely diversion a generation ago, but now, tools like computers, tablets, and smartphones are as indispensible as pens and paper. As Ferrari (2012) points out, "Data on the risks and benefits of screen time are both limited and conflicting." Science has yet to yield a definitive answer as to whether tablets and computers are beneficial to learning or detrimental. Psychological difficulties have been recorded in children who spend too much time in front of screens computer or television (Ferrari, 2012). Yet some new apps for mobile devices seem tailored for young learners and their growing brains. The key to the child's intellectual development is likely not the device itself, or its software, but the adults that supervise the activity. Experts in the area state, ""A teacher or parent needs to be present to help the child grasp the overall concepts, so the child doesn't get stuck on the exciting graphics and the fast pace of the program," (cited by Ferrari, 2012). Whether it is called interactive media or technological tools, all electronic devices are vehicles for
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