Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

14 August 2016

The School Subjected to the iPad

Schools should be breaking children's toxic dependence on screens, not enthusiastically embracing iPads in the classroom.  Although this piece does not mention subjecting children to toxic radiofrequency radiation, it clearly states what school should really be.  "School should become school again, and no longer be like a holiday camp or an Apple colony."

The school subjected to the iPad
by Mathieu Bock-Côté, Journal de Montréal, 11 August 2016
(translated by the author of "Towards Better Health")

The Journal has recently learned about a young mother from Charlesbourg, Québec, surprised when making purchases for the return to school.

On the list:  an iPad.  And it is mandatory.

Her child's school has converted to techno-learning.  It is not the only one.  It is the fashion.  It is even a surge.

It is as if the Quebec school has been hypnotized by the promise of new technologies and can no longer do without trendy devices.

Technomania

We saw the purchase of interactive whiteboards several years ago, supposed to generate fresh enthusiasm among students at school.

The argument is familiar:  in order to interest young persons, we must invent a school of entertainment.  At school, one should be pushed less and play more.  Learning must be fun.

And since the new generation is raised on screens, schools should adapt to this, without which, the rupture would be too brutal.

But it could be that we are poorly serving the new generation in following this route.  Because we risk chaining them even more to their screens while school could rightly resist this new slavery which modernity is claiming.

But critics are rare:  they risk, always, to be accused of passivity and nostalgia.

We realize that the capacity for concentration is the greatest victim of an all-screen society. 

Concentration becomes fragmented.  It must always be stimulated in an interactive environment.  The young person must always tap away at the keyboard, or go from one tab to the next on his touch-screen.  If not, he loses the thread.

It is a toxic dependence.  

In the normal world, school should be breaking this habit rather than enthusiastically submitting to it.

It is the virtue of the classroom:  a professor who knows his subject speaking in front of the class which must learn it.  Students do not have devices, they take notes by hand in a notebook.

What is fascinating, moreover, is that students will always be ahead of adults when it comes to technology.  We believe we are outpacing students when in fact, we lag behind them.

The traditional school

School needs a true foundation, illuminated by the best part of what one calls traditional spirit.  To the extent possible, screens should not be allowed there.

We should re-establish lecture-based learning, where the teacher talks and the student quietly takes notes.  The teacher should have the right to dismiss turbulent elements from the classroom. 

We should set aside long time slots at the library where young people could read the classic literature in deep silence and the great historic events of our civilization.

Essentially, school should become school again, and no longer be like a holiday camp or an Apple colony.

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