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Children and Technology: A Review of the Literature Roberto Leyva University of Texas at El Paso

CHILDREN AND TECHNOLOGY Abstract Everyone has been influenced by technology and its innovation, which has affected us in some

many ways to make our lives easier. This technology innovation is affecting our children as well because technology has approach to them in their house or at school, even in their cell phones. It is not only the technology devices but the social websites are affecting the children not only in their way of thinking but physically too. But parents play an important role as well, because of their responsibility of taking care of how their kids grow up, they must be aware of the interaction between children and technology and may find a way to control the use of technology. This literature review will inform the reader about the effects that this relationship between children and technology has created. To complement the information the reader will find statistics as well as studies made over children and their use of technology.

CHILDREN AND TECHNOLOGY Children and Technology: A Review of the Literature There have been too many questions about the advantages and the disadvantages of children interacting with computers or other any other digital device. Whether there is an actual good effect or not is the question that keeps people to enforce the relationship between their children and technology. In either of the cases, it is true that children need supervision from an authority to control the time and web sites they visit. To help people discuss and try to find a conclusion to this issue, four important questions must be considered: 1. How much time do children spend with technology nowadays? 2. What are the effects of technology on children? 3. How does the advantage in technology reflect towards the kids education? 4. How can parents take controls over their childs use of technology? The following review on literature will: provide information regarding to the time spent by children in computers or any other digital device, discuss the difference of the advantages and

disadvantages of technology over children and trying to find which is greater, review some facts of technology and education and what can technology can contribute to childrens education, and inform the parents on ways to control their childrens use of technology. How much time do children spend with technology nowadays? There have been several surveys to find out the time spent by children interacting with technology unrelated to school. These surveys are made every year and what keeps constant in the results of the surveys is the increase of time that children spend with technology. It seem that children are still finding more and more time to spend with technology no matter how many


other activities that children have, such as school, homework, extracurricular activities, socialize and spend time with family. An example of these surveys is the Kaiser Family Foundation survey. This survey has kept doing this kind of surveys for children of the ages form eight to eight-teen years old. They found that children with access to technology at every time in the day has risen the time spent in entertainment media, especially the younger ages. The results thrown by this survey shows that children from the age of eight to eight-teen years old are spending an average time of seven hours and thirty-eight minutes with technology unrelated to school every day. Other research, as well as the Kaiser family Foundation survey, has found out ninetyseven percent of children spend time playing videogames. And of this ninety-seven percent only two thirds play with family and friends while the other third play with people online, this reflect that videogames are taking away the social skills of children by interacting with people far away from them. Other interesting result of these researches is that seventy-five percents of teens own a mobile phone. Texting has become the major source of communication between kids and teen in the latest years. One girl can send more than two-thousand messages a day, by sending simple text such a just to say hello or lol. Phones nowadays are used to send message as well as to take photos, there is a range of about eighty-three percent of children and teens that are taking photos with their mobile phones. What are the effects of technology on children? Technology are playing such as an important role on people lives, and it has been so from they where children and start to having the first experience with technology. It has been that way


from several years ago, no matter how innovative the technology was before. The truth over this claim is that people are affected and had grown up in a certain way because of their relationship with technology as they were kids. Nowadays society is having a boom of technology, where kids start to interact with technology at very early ages and therefore they are affected by technology. These effects of technology in children can be defined as good since technology has brought us to the point where we are now, where work has become easier and more effective, but there are still things where technology can harm the childrens way of growing or health, no matter how helpful has been technology to us, it does have bad effects in children too. There is not an answer for the question whether if the good effects are greater than the bad effects in children, but there are some affects on both of them that can help people to discuss every particular case for a certain children. When talking about the bad effects that technology can bring to children we can find that it can get to harm kids health, academics, productivity, social lives, and create a violence environment for them. Figure 1 illustrates an unscientific online survey conducted by the author to try to identify the issues affected by technology on children. Twenty-two participants from an English class at UTEP were asked about the childrens issues affected by technology. The results show that obesity is the issue that is more affected by technology nowadays with an eighty-six percent of all votes (see figure 1).


Figure 1. A chart depicting survey responses to the question, Which of these issues is affected by technology in children? Maybe there are questions on how does technology can get to harm childrens health? The answer for this question is that a great percent of obesity is caused by technology and we can confirm this by looking at studies such as the one that I according to the center of disease control and prevention, which reveals that, 16% of children (over 9 million) that are between the ages of 6 -19 years old are overweight or obese, a number that has tripled since 1980 (mostly due to electronic usage). Academics is a width topic on these since technology has been wanted to be implemented in schools to improve the education standards of kids, but that comes later on in the paper, now a bad effect that is causing kids to have poor grades does not have to be with technology at school but with technology at home. There are too much things such as playing


videogames, texting or social networks that take away time for students to get to work and read, causing the m to have a poor standard in schools. Technology has been developed in the latest years so do laziness in kids. Internet has made everything easy for everybody. Nowadays kids can find answers as quick as navigating in the web for it, which has caused them to expect answers before they even take the time to think about a solution. Family has been harmed by these new technology devices as well, kids now spend less time talking with their parents, and they prefer to watch T.V. in their free time that spending more moments with their family. This lack of interaction of children with parents has brought a violence issue with it, since kids do no spend time with an authority figure to teach to them values, they are learning them by what T.V. or videogames offers to them. There are still things that have to be improved in technology to caused better effects in children, as technology is growing so the hope of good effects of using it will increase as well. How does the advantage in technology reflect towards the kids education? Technology can be use as a great tool for several situations in life. It is true that technology has improved our way of living in so many ways in the last few years. Therefore, people always try to implement technology in new things to see if it can improve them as well. One case of these is children, and the way they trying to implement innovative technology are through education. There are some important facts that affect the capacity of learning on children, and to improve the standards of learning on children, it means an incensement over the students interest, the teacher ability, and a good environment as well. It is known that the effects of innovative technology over these three things mentioned before will have huge results on the

CHILDREN AND TECHNOLOGY standards of learning, but the question is how to implement these technology innovations. Lets

talk now about the influences that these technology can have over todays children. The internet plays such a great role in terms of education and it is because it allows the students to have interactive sessions, which creates to the students a better environment. Broadcasting or having in internet someone elses work in internet allows the children to combine and compare ideas with other students and therefore create better works by this team work of comparing ideas on the web. These are some good effects that can come by providing innovative technology reach the schools and be part of the childrens education system. Even though innovative technology can helps children to increase their standard in school, there are some claims that are false. One example of these claims is that if something is interactive it must be educational. Some companies of toys or technology use this claim their product will help children to learn faster or be more productive, which in the majority of the cases is not. Because of these false claims people still have not found out the answer of how to present technology to children as an important tool for their education. In this time of new technology, there have not been better results for the children but to spend more time with books, projects and creativity, either using technology or not. How can parents take controls over their childs use of technology? Internet is one of the technology devices that people must have respect to it and be aware of what can happen with a simple click. Therefore, if adults need to be very careful in the way they use technology, so do children must be. The problem is that sometimes children do not give the importance to it and can get to web pages that can have bad effects in them. Here is

CHILDREN AND TECHNOLOGY where parents must take the control of the situation, by being aware of their childs use of

technology or internet. Nowadays social networks influence people more and more by the things that they are offering to our society. Website like facebook, twitter or instagram are playing an important role because of the power it exerts on people by their way of thinking, and even what to buy. But adults are not the only ones entering to this social network world, but children as well. Figure 2 illustrates a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal to get a percentage by ages of kids using facebook. One thousand and seven parents were participants in this survey in 2011. The results indicated that at the age of 10 about 19 percent of the kids own a facebook acoount, while at the age of 14 the percentage increases to be 78 percet. (see Figure 2)

This is something that has not just worry the parents but the internet service providers and the internet browser and engines, as well. These two together with the presence of parents has made it easier to control the kids use of technology.



As mentioned before the web providers did want to help the parents to controls the pages in internet visited by their children. Providers such as Verizon, AT&T, Comcast offer features called parent control, which provides several abilities to know or deny certain websites to their children. Between these abilities parents can know the sites their kid is visiting when check of the internet comes as well block types or specific sites for their kid. Some of the web sites that parents can block are instant messaging, gaming, chat rooms, and message board web sites. Parents can also allow the children to get to web sites that were provided before as they grow up by letting the child send a request to a specific provided page or parents can change the privacy in or outside the home. Parents also have the option to set up a time limit of the internet access for their child. If someone else that the parents try to change the settings, the web provider will send an alert to the parent. These are very helpful tools for parents to have controls over their childs use of technology. Even though the web providers seems to resolve the problem over parents control, the web browsers also have some features to help in this issue as well. Internet browsers such as google chrome, internet explorer, safari, and firefox. Coclusion Technology has been going through a process of innovation, creating new devices to approach to children. These new devices will be based over the studies that this literature device has talked about, and they will try to eradicate the bad effects that technology can cause to children. But that has not come yet, what people can do is to discuss the advantage and disadvantages of technology in children and made a plan for each situation.

CHILDREN AND TECHNOLOGY References "Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Childhood | DNPAO | CDC." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/index.html "Television." California State University, Northridge. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html "Kids and Electronics: New Study Shows Kids Spend More Than 7 Hours a Day With Electronics - ABC News." ABCNews.com - Breaking News, Politics, Online News,


World News, Feature Stories, Celebrity Interviews and More - ABC News. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. Retrieved from: http://abcnews.go.com/WN/kids-electronics-study-shows-kidsspend-hours-day/story?id=9616699 Plowman, L. & McPake, J. (2013). Seven Myths About Young Children and Technology. Retrieved from: http://www.academia.edu/1899143/2013._Seven_myths_about_young_children_and_tec hnology Parent Controls: Managing where children are surfing online. NCL Technology Issues. Retrieved from: http://www.nclnet.org/technology/149-parental-controls/538-parentalcontrols-monitoring-where-children-are-surfing-online Snehansu, K. (Sep. 2013). How to Bring Innovation, Education and Technology Together to Help Children Learn Better. Retrieved from: http://edtechreview.in/news/news/trendsinsights/insights/594-how-to-bring-innovation-education-and-technology-together

CHILDREN AND TECHNOLOGY Taylor, J. (Sep. 2012). Childrens Immersion in Technology is Shocking. Retrieved from:


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-jim-taylor/childrens-immersion-in-te_b_1871896.html The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (Jan. 2010). Media in the Lives of 8- to 18- YearOlds. Retrieved from:http://kff.org/other/event/generation-m2-media-in-the-lives-of/