Does Technology Have a Positive or Negative Impact on Kids?
April 22, 2016 • Blog Post • BY HPE MATTER STAFF
IN THIS ARTICLE
- A point/counterpoint on the impact of technology on kids, based on a recent HPE survey
Tech leaders react to a recent HPE survey on teens and technology
You’ve heard the questions before—what effect does technology have on our children’s development? Does constant connectivity make kids antisocial? Do teens expect all aspects of their lives to be entertaining? Or does it encourage learning, providing new ways for children to be curious?
We gathered HPE execs and other technology leaders to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly impacts of technology on children.
What are the positive impacts that technology has on children?
The ability to customize learning
“We can personalize learning, build on strengths and encourage continuous learning because we are engaging the student on an individualized basis.” –Dan Rivera, product marketing manager for Aruba’s K-12 business
“Technology has enormous potential to improve and customize education and curricula for each individual learner. If a student has a weakness, he can get extra help. If a student is excelling, she can move ahead in the class. In a regular classroom, a teacher would have a hard time doing that.” –Lyssa Neel, Founder and CEO of Linkitz, a wearable electronic toy company
“Technology lets kids learn at their own pace, optimizing their learning style at their own speed. Kids who were bored and outpaced others now learn faster and more effectively. Slower learners or less focused ones, now have the opportunity to find out where their passions lie.” –Chris Bergman, Founder & CEO of ChoreMonster, a platform to encourage kids to do their chores through gamification
“Back in the day everybody took the same tests, they were not tailored to students and their different ways of learning. Now, it’s easier to understand children and their learning styles.” –Tyler Nappy, developer evangelist at HPE
New ways to learn
“The biggest thing is that technology allows them to learn in different ways. The education system focused on one way of learning for so long and has not catered to new opportunities.” –Mahesh Shah, VP & GM, HPE’s M&A & Divestitures Technology Services
“Kids have the ability use smartphones to record content and upload it on other devices. Students can draft and design—they can learn how to become a project leader and utilize tech to work within a team to accomplish one big project.” –Rivera
“When you introduce interactive games on an iPad, kids are engaging and learning without even realizing it, but in the end, they get the concept. This is powerful. It is enhancing education.” –Jason Schmitt, VP & GM, HPE Fortify
“Taking away technology from kids is like taking away paint or crayons or other pathways for kids to create and be creative.” –Bergman
What are the negative impacts that technology has on children?
Losing social skills
“If technology dependence goes too far, I worry about social skills deteriorating and seeing an increase in antisocial behavior. Motivating and interacting with people is complex—these are the skills that schools and companies have to focus on.” –Shah
“We as a society have to be aware of the social impacts technology has, even in Millennials. We see that it is lot easier to be antisocial today than 20 years ago.” –Bergman
“I am concerned that children are losing the ability to communicate effectively—both written and verbally. I am also concerned that they are not able to handle conflict verbally.” –Scott Spradley, CIO at HPE
“As with most people, I’m concerned about the impact technology might have socially.” –Rivera
An overreliance on tech
“Kids are introduced to technology so early, they are always on, always entertained and as they get older they want their life to be always entertained and always available.” –Neel
“If we become too reliant on games to teach, it might take away curiosity or the desire to learn. Once in college, kids aren’t going to learn complex subjects like physics via games anymore.” –Schmitt
Potential health effects
“Kids who are sitting in front of screens, they don’t move around enough but just sit in one place. And ophthalmologists see that the rate of kids who need glasses has increased greatly.” –Neel
This online survey of a representative sample of 557 U.S. teenagers ages 13-17 was commissioned by Hewlett Packard Enterprise in March 2016.