At present, it is not easy to picture living without gadgets that have filled the world. Children enjoy these benefits from a young age, and they are using various gadgets. The application of telephones in schools is alarming for many teachers and experts. Children use school breaks to play devices instead of resting, and this is an additional burden on the nervous system and the visual organs.
At the same time, students allow themselves to utilize smartphones in the classroom; of course, the educational process suffers from this. Indeed, banning the use of phones in primary school will help prevent many of the social and medical problems that arise from the early application of gadgets.
Among the disadvantages of smartphones at school, it can be noted that children pay too much attention to them at breaks. Instead of playing and communicating, which are considerable parts of building social connections, students spend their time in games and social networks. Often, a company of guys gathers around one child and watches him play on the phone, but it cannot be called full-fledged communication. For the prevention of such cases, it is helpful if the teacher offers children some entertaining activity during the break.
Another problem that one has to face when a student brings a telephone to school is social inequality. Owners of smartphones of the latest model and an impressive price tag automatically become cooler than those who have a cheaper phone.
Moreover, this does not seem right since children gain authority, not at the expense of knowledge or moral qualities, but because their parents gave them an expensive gift. In this case, it will be correct if the student is told, first of all, in the family, that one cannot be proud of a tricked-out telephone and consider the rest worse than oneself because the child’s real honor is not here.
In connection with the increasing computerization and Internetization of society, the problem of the pathological use of the Internet called Internet addiction has become urgent. From childhood, youngsters are introduced to the culture of technology and the Internet, and the uncontrolled use of these things can develop severe forms of dependence in pupils. Manufacturers of various products in the information space are doing everything to attract people to the screen so that they are not distracted, and school-age children are most susceptible to such traps.
The problem of Internet addiction is interdisciplinary, it concerns the education system as a whole, and in particular teachers and educators, since the more a child is in the information space, the more he is oppressed and suffers from overwork, the more various information flows that come in impact on the general state of his health, including the health of the psychiatric profile. Selwyn and Aagaard claim in their article that “the enforced absence of mobile phones in the classroom does provide researchers with an opportunity to reassess and reframe the rhetoric of technology addiction” (4).
There are pluses, and the education system supports them, develops them. On this occasion, there is the position of psychologists and educators. The job of teachers is to access to information content; certain limits and restrictions must be established so that Internet addiction does not develop. That is, the information environment is a plus, but when a child is on the Internet for too long, it becomes a minus. Additionally, the disadvantage is what goes on the Internet, what the child is considering because it can be various interactive games, immersion in virtual reality, and avoiding the real-world problems such as family, school, and in the future, social.
Those who know what addictions are involved in Internet dependence and these are psychiatrists and narcologists, clinical and medical psychologists always help specialists in the healthcare system. The transition from the norm to pathology, the formation of dependence, needs to be discussed and warned by the public, parents, educators, and academics. Teachers’ main task is to talk about prevention, including some correction so that the state of Internet addiction does not develop.
The daily use of the World Wide Web leads to the fact that some forms of social interaction “flow” online, or at least duplicated more in this dimension, having an inevitable impact on the situation in the team. Cyberbullying, or bullying on the net, is increasingly becoming an object of attention from the school and an occasion to rethink the role of the teacher. Selwyn and Aagaard write in their paper that “cyberbullying also tends to occur in technologically mediated spaces to which adults have little access” (6).
Children may be faced with ridicule, threats, and bullying of their peers in the walls of educational institutions and beyond. However, with the development of social networks and new technologies, they become more vulnerable, so the very phenomenon of aggression and bullying among children receives a new impetus for growth in current conditions.
In addition to the multiple social disadvantages of using mobile phones, there are also severe medical threats to children under 12 years old. Active users of mobile telephones slowed down the reaction to light and sound signals; the number of errors in writing significantly increased. Moreover, decreased performance indicators weakened attention and semantic memory. Miller et al. state that “the potential adverse effect of radiation brain dose on children’s cognitive functions, including spatial memory that involves brain regions exposed during cell phone use” (6).
Researchers believe that changes in the psychophysiological parameters of children who use mobile phones convincingly prove that the chronic effects of electromagnetic radiation adversely affect the child. Children are at risk because their skull is thinner than that of adults, they have less brain mass, and because of this, more vital structures can be exposed to gadget radiation (Kaplan et al. 7). Therefore teachers should allow children under the age of sixteen to use mobile communications only for critical and urgent calls since their nervous system is still under development.
Perhaps, such a restriction and banning for youngsters seems entirely rational. Suppose all these assumptions that cell phones can cause benign tumors, and cognitive impairment would receive a significant rebuttal. Even then, it would hardly be worth it to accustom a child to an expensive toy that can absorb a large share of his attention, because these minutes and hours would be much more useful to spend on development or live communication.
Class leaders, for their part, can also have a positive influence on the situation. For example, it is in their power to inform the parents of the child that he pays too much attention to his gadget. Alternatively, hold an educational conversation with students about the dangers and benefits of mobile phones, about the culture of the behavior of their owners in society and, in particular, within the walls of the school. Nevertheless, these approaches may be ineffective since pupils are already addicted to their technologies. Therefore, the prohibition of cell phones in elementary schools will have a positive force on children’s psychological and physical development and affect the quality of emerging social connections.
Kaplan, Suleyman, et al. “Electromagnetic Field and Brain Development.” Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, vol. 75, 2016, pp. 52–61.
Miller, Anthony B., et al. “Risks to Health and Well-Being from Radio-Frequency Radiation Emitted by Cell Phones and Other Wireless Devices.” Frontiers in Public Health, vol. 7, 2019.
Selwyn, Neil, and Jesper Aagaard. “Banning Mobile Phones from Classrooms—An Opportunity to Advance Understandings of Technology Addiction, Distraction, and Cyberbullying.” British Journal of Educational Technology, 2020.