What is the positive and negative effects of using digital technology for literacy practices for children?
According to Hård & Jamison (2013), the use of technology in literary practices was prominent in the late 20th century. The advent of printing press, integrated circuits and handheld electronic calculator depicted a significant improvement in terms of technology. The technology shares an interlinking relationship with the digital technology. By the late 1950’s it became quite evident that in order to bring about further improvement in the analogue mechanisms for literacy practices, digital technology played a crucial role. In the year 1973 the world witnessed fist electronic digital computer. It changed the digital technology to great extent and the usage of analogue technology got experienced a paradigm shift in terms to speed, reliability and accuracy. The global revolution in digital technology and literacy practices was an outcome invention of microprocessors in the year 1996. The internet was first introduced in the 1983 and it completely revolutionized the process of information availability. It is important to mention the importance of internet technology and how it facilitated seamless integration of educational practices with digital technology (Crowley & Heyer, 2015).
According to Ager (2013), Information and communications technology (ICT) has a crucial role in amalgamation of internet through digital devices such as radio, cellular smartphones, software applications, computers etc. In the year 1998 Larry Page along with Sergey Brin founded Google which laid a prime focus on availability of accurate information tracking through internet. Due to this the researcher often refers the present generation as the “Google generation” (Buckingham, 2013).
The digital technology is not just influential through internet but television also has a significant impact on the changing trends of digital technology. Research suggests that new technology should be available to the children in the early development process. Various studies have shown that the incorporation of digital texts among children shows increased playfulness and inculcates creative skills (Marsh et al., 2015).
According to Fitzgerald et al., (2014) various studies have also shown how the computer games can influence the learning practices at early stage of childhood. The digital cable operators in the recent times have incorporated various learning packages for a child in their connection facility includes many learning aids for the children of the present generation. In order to address the various digital literacy skills of the learners the innovation in form of various pedagogy, instructors have to be aware of conveniently adopt the dichotomized modes of thinking and building on the binary logic of the individuals. The digital technology has further shown various improvements not just in terms of various digital devices but also in forms of videos, eBooks, portable digital formats of the books and even social media and blogs. According to many researchers the digital text introduced in forms of eBooks have completely replaced the use of text books among many communities of young people (Tyner, 2014).
The positive impact of the various digital technologies takes into account aspects such as accurate information, accessibility, convenience and sharing of the information. It has supplemented in teaching tools through interactive tools in educational process such as presentation tools, video files and many audio visual elements into the learning process. Research shows the various digital aids such as hands-on learning tools including ipads, tablets, notebooks and Smartphone suggests that students are better motivating in learning than the traditional learning procedures. The various new leaning measures have enabled the children to acces the information on the go thus the advancement in the technology has enabled greater mobility of the information. The main impact of digital technology for learning practices is for the accuracy and speed of access of the required material. The online learning process enables the students to learn from tutors who interact with the children through online video class. YouTube and Google Hangouts in air make the entire process of e- learning seamless and inexpensive (Davidson et al., 2014).
Flewitt et al., (2014), the main advantage of online learning is that the students can learn at their own speed. In online classroom session the students enjoy the flexibility of completing the assignments at their convenience. The benefits are not only in terms of the learners but with the advent of the digital technology the tutors are able take classes according to their convenience and even the students are unable to attend the class the information can stored in various “online clouds”. The storage of information can be done by use of drop box applications, Google Drive and cloud storage facilities offered by Western Digital, HP, Dell etc (Gillen & Hall, 2013)
Coiro et al., (2014), the researchers have often suggested that the children often inculcate the competitive skills while they playing games with their friends or relatives. Studies have suggested that the competitive skills from the video games help the children to cope up with competition in the practical situation. In several TV connection facilities the games are so interactive that they help the children to learn various language, gain mathematical skills and analytical reasoning at a very early stage which will help them to deal with various complex situation in the real world. The eBooks have changed the learning process in great way by ease of accessibility. The eBooks have also changed the market scenario and market players like Amazon Kindle which is used by a large population of the students in the United States. The digital technology is not only prominent in terms of reading digital text but also writing of the same. The digital pen is an input device which recognizes the handwriting of the children and converts the analogue information into digital. The digital pen is used by several students for taking classroom notes and saving the same in electronic format. The technology used for digital pen is known as Optical character recognition (OCR) technology. Manufacturers such as Polyvision, N-trig, Wacom and live scribe have made the pen widely popular in the present. The various digital technologies used by social media such as Whatsapp and Google hangout. At times useful educational information is available on facebook and social media platforms like this can integrate information into a single page which can be accessed from mobiles devices.
The various negative impacts of the digital technology have brought serious concern for health problems among the children. The surveys conducted in the recent times shows that due to increase in the use of digital devices such as ipad, laptops, Smartphone and notebooks the young generation is suffering from health issues such as weak eyesight and back pain. The digital technology has created a negative impact on the children to pursue physical sports and due to lack of physical activities many children are suffer from overweight and fitness issues. The digital technology is often seen as a developing platform for many poor and developing nations and they are unable to take full use of this technology. The technology in form of internet is often inaccessible in many parts of the world and needs additional attention for a global connectivity. The negative impact is also seen on the writing skills of the children, with the use of technologies like swipe texting, keyboards and even speech recognition software to input text has detrimental effect on the students as they don’t have to write anything on paper directly. The aforementioned technologies also have a detrimental impact on the grammar. Research has shown that while texting, type or taking of classroom notes in form digital format most student don’t care about punctuation and spelling. This leads to bad habit later in life. The gadgets used for e –learning in many forms prove to be expensive for some section of the society and affordability. The survey conducted on the use of Smartphone shows that the children are often affected due to radio frequency emitted from the Smartphones is harmful especially on skin. It is even considered to having serious issues relating to cancer among the children. The use of various digital technologies have proved to cause social detachment and contributing time to relatives towards family. Many children often suffer from the problem of interacting in real life as they become so caught up with the use of mobile gadgets. Many researchers consider the major problem of the growth of digital technology is seen among children for getting involved in unethical practices, such as children using it as a source of adult content rather than using it for learning purposes. This type of problems is definite to create a negative impact on the character of the involved individual. (Flood et al., 2015).
The topic of discussion in the essay gives an extensive viewpoint of the several aspects of the digital technology on the children of present generation. Among the various types of positive and negative influence of digital technology it needs to noted that the use of digital technologies are at a developing stage among various countries and needs several improvement for proper implementation so that the benefits can be reaped in the long- run. The government authorities of these developing nations are taking several initiatives to inculcate the use of digital technology among the children by introduction of laptops in primary schools and educational centers for a global inclusion of the literacy service by digital platform.
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