Confidence prevents teachers from using one-to-one technology
According to a recent blog post by educational technology professional Jay Ashcroft, confidence is the main barrier for teachers to use one-to-one technology in the classroom. He argues that many teachers understandably feel tentative about using the technology in front of a classroom of young people who have grown up with it. Although many young people will be well versed in operating mobile technology, Ashcroft believes they need guidance from teachers on how to use it effectively. Although CPD is crucial to building confidence, Ashcroft argues that this should not focus on how to use apps, but rather on pedagogical skills training.
Study finds link between television viewing and obesity
A strong link between childhood obesity and television viewing has been found in a study presented to the Pediatric Academic Societies in the US. The study found that Nursery and Primary age children who watched at least one hour of television a day are 50% more likely to be overweight. These children were also found to be far more likely to be obese. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that children watch no more than two hours of television a day, but the researchers behind the report suggest that these guidelines may need to be reviewed. The research paper outline found no correlation between computer use and body mass index. While the research only found a correlational link between television viewing and obesity, and does not discuss the cause of this relationship, the authors suggest that a reduced amount of energy expenditure, a decrease in sleep and increased opportunities for food consumption are likely contributors.
Parents consider benefits and drawbacks of Minecraft
The video game Minecraft has reached almost unprecedented popularity among children, and is increasingly used in schools for educational purposes. Despite the educational qualities of Minecraft however, some parents are concerned about the extent to which their children are absorbed by the game. Parents worry that their children appear to lose interest in real world activities and have withdrawal symptoms if they cannot access the game. A child psychiatrist at a private hospital in London who runs a ‘technology addiction’ unit has argued that for some children the ‘hyper reality’ of video games can make the real world seem slower and less stimulating. On the other hand, another parent of a child on the autistic spectrum argues that the game has helped her son and other children on the spectrum to communicate and collaborate with others.