NewsExperts in Germany express concerns about school digitization

Experts in Germany express concerns about school digitization

Is digitization a great threat?
Is digitization a great threat?
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8:07 AM EST, December 1, 2023

Over 40 scholars are expressing concern about the advancement of digitization in schools and preschools. They are calling for a halt to this process, citing the potential negative effects of teaching through phones and laptops.

German experts sound the alarm: they argue that the surge in digitization and "teaching via tablets and laptops" in schools could make students less intelligent rather than more informed.

A distinguished appeal was directed at the Hessian Ministry of Culture, which is planning to increase the use of digital media in education and equip educational institutions with tablets and laptops. The "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" daily newspaper provided detailed coverage on this topic.

Last school year in Hesse (a German state), the new "Digital World" subject was introduced in 12 pilot schools. It is now being taught in 64 schools.

"Not only should fifth and sixth-grade students learn basic computer science skills. Proper use of digital media is also part of the curriculum," - reports the "FAZ".

Digitization: A Major Threat?

Experts propose that the ministry should meticulously supervise the ongoing digitization process. "Based on current scientific research, it appears that teaching using tablets and laptops does not necessarily enhance intelligence in children up to sixth grade. Instead, it could have the opposite effect. Studies have indicated that extensive use of digital devices in classrooms can have deleterious effects on health, psychological well-being, and social interactions," stated Ralf Lankau from the University of Offenburg, one of the initiators of the appeal for digital supervision.

"Screens have a particularly negative impact on younger children, impeding learning and language development. Excessive screen time can result in difficulties with concentration and a decrease in physical activity," Lankau added, in a statement quoted by Radio ZET.

The German Society for Pediatric Medicine has also voiced their opinion on this issue. Their guidelines suggest that "the less screen time children have, the better for their overall wellbeing."

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