Week 8: Classroom technologies and ethical issues

Blog: post a brief summary of your findings to your blog.

There have been a number of safety issues that have arisen from the increased use of technology, especially among children and teenagers, ranging from:  increased rates of myopia (Dolgin, 2015; Morgan, 2016); sleep disturbances and behavioural issues (Raniti et. al., 2017; Parent, Sanders and Forehand, 2016; Rosen et. al., 2014); and changes in attention and multitasking (Montagni, Guichard and Kurth, 2016; Ophir, Nass and Wagner, 2009).

In regards to myopia, it has been shown that the increasing amount of time being spent indoors – often due to increasing use of technology – by young people has led to an epidemic of myopia (Dolgin, 2015; Morgan, 2016). Morgan (2016) suggests school-based programs to increase the amount of time spent outdoors in order to slow the rate of progression of myopia.

The increased use of technology by children has led to increased screen time (time spent in front of screens such as t.v.’s, computers, tablets, or phones) which has led to increased sleep disturbances, which, in turn, has led to increased behavioural issues (Parent, Sanders and Forehand 2016; Rosen et. al. 2014), increased rates of depression (Raniti et. al. 2017), and overall poorer health outcomes (Rosen et. al. 2014).

Increased screen time has led to people often dealing with more than one task at a time (multitasking) and this can lead to poor outcomes for attention (Montagni, Guichard and Kurth, 2016; Ophir, Nass and Wagner, 2009).  Ophir and colleagues in their 2009 study showed that people who are heavy media multitaskers have greater difficulty attending to one task and are more easily distracted. This is supported by research of students who self-reported higher levels of attention problems and hyperactivity with increased screen time (Montagni, Guichard and Kurth, 2016).

It’s clear from these studies that there are some significant health and development issues related to the increased use of technology among today’s youth.

Dolgin, E. (2015). The myopia boom. Nature519(7543), 276.

Morgan, I. G. (2016). What Public Policies Should Be Developed to Deal with the Epidemic of Myopia?. Optometry & Vision Science, 93(9), 1058-1060.

Montagni, I., Guichard, E., & Kurth, T. (2016). Association of screen time with self-perceived attention problems and hyperactivity levels in French students: a cross-sectional study. BMJ open6(2), e009089.

Ophir, E., Nass, C., & Wagner, A. D. (2009). Cognitive control in media multitaskers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences106(37), 15583-15587.

Parent, J., Sanders, W., & Forehand, R. (2016). Youth screen time and behavioral health problems: the role of sleep duration and disturbances. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 37(4), 277-284.

Raniti, M. B., Allen, N. B., Schwartz, O., Waloszek, J. M., Byrne, M. L., Woods, M. J., Bei, B., Nicholas, C.L., & Trinder, J. (2017). Sleep duration and sleep quality: associations with depressive symptoms across adolescence. Behavioral sleep medicine, 15(3), 198-215.

Rosen, L. D., Lim, A. F., Felt, J., Carrier, L. M., Cheever, N. A., Lara-Ruiz, J. M., Mendoza, J. S., & Rokkum, J. (2014). Media and technology use predicts ill-being among children, preteens and teenagers independent of the negative health impacts of exercise and eating habits. Computers in Human Behavior35, 364-375.


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