Tech Addiction or Screen-Free School?

“Many of today’s children are ignorant, sad, and set up for failure. They lack the knowledge and skills to perform basic tasks. They are lonely and suffer from depression and anxiety. Also, as Mark Bauerlein explains in his book ‘The Dumbest Generation Grows Up,’ they are incredibly immature. The reasons for this are not a mystery. One top answer is actually incredibly simple: screens. Instead of learning about their world and participating in it, the majority of young people are glued to their devices, playing video games, scrolling through social media, and streaming videos. Tablets and smartphones have radically transformed the school experience from what it used to be. Those who taught before screens wouldn’t even recognize today’s classrooms, and those who taught afterward wouldn’t even believe what students of the past were capable of without the help of technology. Not only do the screens affect students academically, but also socially. Many students don’t talk anymore, and they will go through the whole school year without making friends. It makes sense, then, that in my experience, there’s a strong correlation between students’ academic performance and the time they spend on their phones. There’s also the serious problem of what the kids are actually doing on their screens–much of which is not age-appropriate. For a few years now, my wife and I have held strong with our three toddlers, keeping our house screen-free. On one hand, this means we have to actively monitor and supervise them from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed, which can be exhausting and often overwhelming. On the other hand, our children are much more creative, energetic, and mature than most kids their age. More importantly, they are happier and we have a close relationship with them. To maintain a screen-free environment, we’ve also opted to send our children to a classical charter school that prohibits smartphones and tablets. This is why countries like France have banned smartphones from public schools altogether, or why fancy prep schools in Silicon Valley like the Waldorf Academy do the same.”

“As a Teacher Who Sees Rampant Tech Addiction,” The Federalist, May 6, 2022