I knew we’d be talking about this sooner or later: Do touch screens reduce how much we absorb, while paradoxically increasing ‘engagement’? Or, are the dumb things that happen in Real Life better teachers than VR, or smart screens?
Researchers have been warning us –from pre-Internet days– that excessive screen time was having negative effects on children’s attention, learning (cognitive skills, language development), and sleep.
A screen is a two-dimensional (2D) experience that is hard to resist, across all age groups. Yet, a recent report tells us that screens “do not inherently provide (children under 3 with) rich opportunities for whole mind-body learning.”
For instance, it says:
“Researchers who study how children learn have concluded, however, that it is easier for young children to comprehend information from real-life experiences with people and objects compared with information delivered via a screen.” (“Screen Sense. Setting The Record Straight”)
No one is asking us to eliminate screen-time. But we could rethink how creative thinking, problem solving and experimentation could work without pixels.