Technology & Kids – Good, Bad or Both?

January 22, 2009 at 8:52 PM Leave a comment

I was just reading today about all the great new assistive technology and how it’s helping people who have hearing or visual disabilities.

“Some companies, such as Microsoft, already have a foothold in workplace assistive technologies, and they’re now expanding into new scenarios.
Others came to the assistive technology market by accident—having realized their products were life-changers for the disabled at play. Either way, they’ve all had a hand in opening the market for technologies that are making life more playful and productive for people with disabilities.”

But I have also been hearing a lot of buzz about the dangers technology can present when children fall into abusive or obsessive use.

“In a decade working with the Sunshine Coast school system, “I saw hundreds of kids with technology addictions, behavior problems, developmental delays and social difficulties,” she says in a phone interview. Many spent hours a day in front of screens.”

What is the answer?  Is technology good, bad or neither?   Is it more like, say – cars.   You could go on all day about the incredible benefits cars offer to our way of life or instead focus on the injuries and lives lost to accidents and abuses.

Like so many things, technology has its dark-side and even the smartest among us can fall prey to a touch of addictive.  (Heck, Barack Obama is having a hard time with the Secret Service’s ban on blackberries!)

I am hearing cries out there that screen time and technology for kids is dangerous and possibly harmful.   But who would want to remove our children’s ability to be one click away from a wealth of information and a global community.  Tough call.

Perhaps, like cars, our young children’s interaction with technology needs a high degree of parental involvement.   After all, you would never just throw the car keys to your kid hoping he figures it out, learns to navigate and buckles up before taking it for a spin.

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