Fri. Jun 14th, 2024
Malik Sultan Ahmed

The generational gap is real. 

Learners of this era belong to the tech era. They are born with smartphones around them. They are more familiar with smart gadgets than their teachers. They spend more time at home using or handling those gadgets. Even parents are not able to cease their daily usage dose. These kids who attend a school or any learning institution feel comfortable in their zone. They dislike such restrictions which disallow them to use smart gadgets specifically smartphones. According to Pew Research Centre Poll, around 95% of teens have access to a smartphone. You simply can’t ask them to leave it. They would never even listen to you because of the generational gap. 

On the other hand, their parents and most of the teachers are lesser tech-savvy. They are of traditional approach and opinion. They deem smart gadgets as a distraction, wastage of time and escape from real happening around you. Since they didn’t interact with these gadgets in their time, they are unaware of the usage of these tools. Even those who have mastery over these gadgets, too pose a threat to kids to use them in the classroom. 

A survey revealed that screen time in children is from 5 to 7 hours daily. It’s pretty alarming. If it’s 6 hours, it counts 180 hours per month. It means losing 72 days per year before the screen whether it’s the mobile screen, tablet or TV. Obviously, Covid-19 had its toll as well. During those days of the pandemic, screen time rose and parents had no choice but to let kids allow them to indulge. 

Parenting and teaching have some similar aspects for a child’s education. Both bear the responsibilities of mentoring and developing a child for entering a society that is full of modern gadgets and hi-tech resources. Thus, teachers should bear this point in mind and actually provide fruitful direction to their kids or learners for using these gadgets. Initially, both parents and teachers must contribute to controlling screen time. You simply can’t ban children from halt smart gadgets at once. It will only ignite animosity. Their behaviour would be rude, aggressive and rebellious. Giving direction on how to positively engage in using smartphones for educational purposes and monitoring the process will result in a productive outcome. Afterwards, scheduling screen time rather than limiting it would bring in more mutual gain.

One major aspect of giving positive direction is to connect learning with smart technologies. As a parent or teachers, we rarely discuss and guide them on how they can couple their smartphones with their learning process. Using YouTube for revision or if a lecture is missed, downloading apps for spelling, grammar, maths, IQ, physics quizzes or computer science problems and so on should be discussed in the classroom and teachers should encourage learners to not only actively engage in these tops but to introduce new ones with others. There is a great variety of apps, software, and websites available at our disposal to engage in the learning process and effectively use smart gadgets. 

Parenting control is yet another tool that needs to be for monitoring what activities are being made while surfing the Internet. Some cultural, social and religious boundaries are there that we don’t want our children to jump over. Every technology has restriction tools and parents must keep a log of the activities their children are making. This will also help them be aware of their child’s routine. Remember, it is tools that are designed to facilitate us and not us who are created to only live for tools. 

The writer is working in Pakistan Navy as English Language Instructor and have more than 10 years of professional teaching experience. 

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