Are We Becoming Weaker Thinkers?

There’s no doubt that technology is dramatically impacting how we educate children.  Today’s students gaze increasingly more frequently at screens and turn to books far less often, than students merely five years ago. They process more and more information visually and rely decreasingly less on listening skills.  Their minds are  continually flooded with colorful images, rapid motions, and blinking lights. They spend little time in restful contemplation and find a lack of technological stimulation uncomfortable.

A Google search brings up thousands of resources for how technology can enhance education but a growing concern is emerging as well.  Scientists and educators worry that the more technology does for us, as well as our children,  the more we all could be losing our edge. Are we becoming weaker thinkers because we are failing to exercise key muscles?  Are our children failing to develop essential networks in their brains?  What are today’s students NOT doing in their ever-changing-technology-saturated educational worlds that is setting up weaker thinking?  Consider the article below:

Automation Addiction’: Are Pilots Forgetting How to Fly?

Automated flight systems and auto-pilot features on commercial aircraft are causing “automation addiction” among today’s airline pilots and weakening their response time to mechanical failures and emergencies, according to a new study by safety officials. This dangerous trend has cost the lives of hundreds of passengers in some 51 “loss of control” accidents over the past five years, the report found.  (Click on the title to read more….)

Clearly there are pros and cons to a high tech learning environment but there are also pros and cons in a low tech learning environment. How can we harness the advantages of both?

What are the skills our kids are in danger of losing in a high tech learning environment?

Based on findings from current research, which personal observations wholly support, I  believe that growing deficits in the areas listed below will – if ignored- vastly affect not only academic outcomes but also  spiritual, social and emotional  growth in our students:

1.    Short and long term memory skills

2.    The ability to wrestle with and digest text: comprehension

3.    Single focused attention

4.    Critical thinking and analysis

5.    Auditory processing skills

6.    Control over one’s mind- (which results in self control over one’s actions)

7.    Silent contemplation and prayer

I will expand on these seven points in the next series of blogs but today I am going to step off this path a bit and plead instead for discernment (for both adults and students) with regard to social media sites such as facebook.

I am not anti-facebook.

I see many good uses. For example, a student at my school recently shared a link to a inspirational video about a small group of individuals who have launched a world wide humanitarian mission using facebook as the communication tool.  (click on this link for great story) Yet facebook is also thoughtlessly  used by both adults and kids, with little discernment or impulse control.  For many it has become a venting venue.  For others gossip is posted for a discussion forum. (Please do not participate by joining in on anything that could be untrue or a slanted version of the truth)

While the words we speak can be retold to another, our posted words can be circulated and passed along to thousands with relative ease.  Whether our words are spoken, written or posted, they hold influence to alter opinions.  We cannot recapture words that have been posted because they pass into “web world” where they can live on endlessly.  We must be ever so mindful that what we post is edifying and true and worthy to live on.  And we must refrain from posting idle words against anyone.

I post very little on facebook but I often am sent what adults and students alike are posting.  I have to conclude that it is far too easy to air a complaint- to gossip and stir up others to rally behind one’s own offended-ness!  With rapid ease,one can also post frustrations under the disguise of “seeking advice and counsel and prayer” from facebook friends!”

What happened to going straight to our brother with an offense? What  happened to seeking the face of God and turning to Him for council and comfort as our first response?  Doing so would prevent many a hasty announcement from being posted in the first place.

The following Biblical  truth applies to what we speak, write and POST:

Remind them of these things, charging them before the lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.  And their message will spread like cancer. 2 Timothy 2: 14-16

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.  The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. James 3:6

Avoid foolish disputes…. Titus 3:9

The words of a tale bearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.  Proverbs 18:8

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Check out our services page or call us at (512)262-6026 for more information.


2 Comments

  1. I definitely feel like I need to be cautious about technology with my daughter, but I have also noticed a difficulty on my own part lately to sit still and focus. This article makes me all the more determined to exercise my own brain in healthy ways daily.

    Reply
  2. We want to our children to be knowledgeable and savvy about technology, but at the same time as parents, we are extremely cautious about too much leniency, regarding amount of “screen time” and open access to the internet. Pressure comes when many friends own the latest gadgets as soon as they are out, and a fear is instilled in our children of being left behind by technology. Each family must stand for what they believe to be right in this and not be consumed by our culture’s push to have us purchase and use always the newest items and spend more and more time on these instruments. We are constantly pressing in to hold fast to what God asks of our family, even if outside pressure becomes more difficult daily. We encourage followers of Christ to take the more difficult road, and find a technological balance to preserve the minds and hearst of our children.

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