There’s no doubt about it – the internet is changing how our children learn. The internet has changed nearly every culture in various ways.
We communicate with friends, co-workers and family halfway across the world in a matter of seconds. We can video chat, have thousands of social network friends that keep tabs on us every moment of the day (should we want them to!) and teleconference our annual business meeting with associates all over the world, all without leaving our office.
Thanks to the internet, the world is literally in front of us, but what about our children?
- How The Internet Affects Thinking Patterns
The days of our children sitting in their second grade classroom and diligently working on their penmanship are behind us. Practicing cursive handwriting may have been how the previous generations spend their class time, but not anymore.
Today, for our children, learning has taken a much wider, one that’s based almost completely towards technology. Children aren’t learning how to loop their b’s, but instead, to click on hyperlinks, visit their favorite Disney website, and Google search.
Since children can rely on the “brain” of the internet to give them any answer they desire they don’t have to rely on critical and analytical skills to do the work. The internet is changing how our children learn - their logical thought patterns have become altered, which means that, essentially, their brains are becoming programmed differently than ours.
- Learning by Doing vs. Google Searches
The philosophy so many of us have learned in our own education, “learning by doing” doesn’t exist for the next generation. What children know is that anything they need to learn is available on the internet through a Google search.
Want to find the nearest pet shop or where that new Mexican restaurant is located? There’s no reason for children to develop a “learning by doing” attitude when all of the answers are right there on their computer. While cyber learning can be positive in many ways, does it skew a child understands for what’s real and what’s cyber-real?
- Immediate Access to Information
The internet is changing how our children learn in the biggest way of all – immediate access to information.
From learning how to speak Mandarin Chinese to how to score an A in Algebra, children today have a unique opportunity to know it all, even though it may be taught from behind a computer screen. However, it doesn’t come without a cost.
Because of the internet, their brains are being wired differently. They process information more quickly, but they develop difficulties socializing as compared to past generations, and some experience difficulty with forming strong connections with their friends and parents.
The internet is changing how our children learn by granting them immediate access to their latest required reading in English class, showing them how to conquer that challenging geometry problem or effective memory tricks for Spanish class. There’s a fine balance to be walked with so much information at their disposal.
If there’s not much balance between cyber world and the physical world, the internet could neglect children of the things that make them children. Running in the park with friends, playing basketball in the backyard or having that certain innocence is just as important as having the world of information at their disposal.
Let us know what you think about how the internet is changing how our children learn.