Advantages And Disadvantages Of Electronic Gadgets For Students
As a parent, it is important to manage your child’s exposure to gadgets. Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of electronic gadgets for your child.
By Bharti Adhikari
Mechanised toys such as remote-controlled cars or ‘speaking’ dolls have always fascinated children of all ages. Technology, today, has become an inseparable part of their lives and it’s not surprising to see a two-year-old unlock mobile phones, operate apps, play games and hit the right links on touch screen gadgets.
For students, these gadgets promote an enhanced learning experience, helps them enhance their skills, and allows them to explore their topics of interest like never before.
As parents, it is important to make yourself aware about the advantages and disadvantages of electronic gadgets, and ways to manage gadget use to benefit your kid’s lifestyle.
Advantages of electronic gadgets for students
- Electronic devices may help to enhance speaking, listening and creative skills.
- Toddlers and preschool children learn by listening to music, rhymes, or watching programs on handheld gadgets or television. The visual representation helps to stimulate their senses.
- Playing competitive video games on electronic devices helps improve hand-eye coordination, dexterity and decision making.
- Some children self-learn various artistic and technical skills on the Internet and improve knowledge in their area of interest.
- Students are able to understand concepts better by using learning apps without the assistance of a teacher.
Disadvantages of electronic gadgets for students
- Young children may show temper tantrums or refuse to cooperate unless allowed to play with their gadgets.
- Excessive exposure to electronics gadgets can lead to children spending less time outdoors and limiting their social interaction.
- Poor concentration in studies and lack of interest in day-to-day activities.
- Excessive gadget usecan be addictive and lead to poor health, sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits.
- Playing video games of a violent nature can have a negative effect on your child’s behaviour.
Importance of electronic devices for students
Electronic gadgets are beneficial in many ways to students. Here are some examples of how children and students use them to benefit in different ways.
- Communication: Email, chats and group discussions all are made possible with gadgets like tablets, smart phones and computers connected via the Internet. Students are increasingly sharing tasks and information, making reports and taking part in group activities and projects via their electronic devices.
- Learning: There are many learning apps and educational videos available online which make learning easier for students and children of all ages. There are various types of educational apps like language learning apps, home tuition apps and study apps which students can access on their electronic gadgets.
- Research: Tablets and handheld devices are a boon for many university students who do a lot of research online, access online journals, books or magazines, and attend virtual classrooms as part of their academic activities.
Examples of electronic gadgets for kids
So, if you have an inquisitive five or six-year-old in your home who loves tinkering with electronic media, here are some high-end electronic gadgets for him.
1. VTech Brilliant Creations Advanced Notebook: If your child is one of those who loves pressing keys on your laptop, this might just be the right gadget for her. This toy notebook looks and feels as real as it can get. It features a 4.5 inch LCD colour screen, a QWERTY keypad, a touch pad and a mouse all of which make it work like a real laptop. There are 120 activities spanning across various genre like learning letters and spellings, basic math and counting, rhymes, story-telling, science, questions and answers, fill in the blanks, drawing, vocabulary, languages, social studies, games and many more. All these activities are categorised under three levels of difficulty, which you can adjust according to the age or learning of your child. This laptop is a complete package fitted in one device. It will help you in engaging your child in academics in a fun way.
2. LeapFrog LeapReader Reading and Writing System: This gadget is still not very popular in our country, but it is a boon for those who have difficulty in learning words, or are visually impaired or have special needs. LeapReader is a talking pen which can be used with books that are especially designed for it. You can touch words or pictures with the pen-shaped device to hear words and sounds. It teaches reading, comprehension, phonic skills, vocabulary, writing and letters. It comes with a headphone jack and a writing sheet to trace words with the device. The basic pack comes with one free sample each of book, writing sheet, free to download audio book bundle, music album and trivia challenge pack. The company hosts a library of over 150 interactive books including writing activities, maps, audio books and music. This innovative gadget will make your child read books and stories on her own, and will save you from spending hours teaching her to read.
3. LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra: LeapPad is another modern-day gadget for today’s tech savvy children. It’s a tablet with a 7-inch screen, a stylus, a 2 megapixel camera, an MP3 player and Wi-Fi connectivity. It comes preloaded with 11 apps. It offers a parental control feature that will enable you to filter the content that your child would have access to. You can customise the learning experience based on the age of your child. The company’s online library has over 800 apps, games, eBooks, videos and music. The screen is sensitive enough for a child’s touch and the build is sturdy. This tablet has rechargeable lithium ion batteries, just like real tablets. It also features an art studio which will help in developing your child’s creativity and imagination power.
How to manage your child’s gadget exposure
Every gadget in your hand will fascinate your child, and yes, we understand perfectly how worried you may be as a parent, when you hear about gadget addiction issues in children of a very young age. Also, there are online safety concerns. So, what do you do, as a parent?
- Become involved: It’s a matter of curiosity and proximity, so it all begins from you - if you can’t give up using latest gadgets, then don’t expect your child to not get attracted towards them. But, of course, it is not always possible to stop using electronic gadgets. Neither can you keep your child away from the latest technology as this is where her future lies. So, to ensure she reaps the right benefits out of this, you need to get involved. You should also bear in mind that though technology is definitely a boon for children, parental monitoring and intervention is essential when it comes to content. Choose TV programmes, apps, software, and gadgets only after researching. You can even consult other parents. Look for content that fosters your child’s creativity, and social and academic skills without any exposure to violence and negativity.
- Embrace the trend: Allowing your child to engage in electronic media may throw up some challenges for you. You will often find yourself wondering whether to appreciate its academic benefits or worry over online safety issues. Your anxiety may end up imposing a ban on such media. But, rather than total prohibition or restriction, the best thing to do is make electronic media work for your family, in ways that will help your child in honing her skills, improving her performance in academics and grooming her social behaviour.
- Choose wisely: The electronic media market for children is no more limited to television, educational DVDs and computer games. What gadget you choose for your child will decide what he derives out of them. Most importantly, sit, watch, play and discuss along with your child to make sure he is safe online.
About the author:
Written by Bharti Adhikari on 5 May 2017; updated on 8 April 2020
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