Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    Allanah King
    Whetu Cormick, president of the NZ Principal Association's views
    12 March
    Public discussion Created by Allanah King

    Whetu Cormick, president of the NZ principal's association recently wrote...

    "I am constantly hearing reports that the costs associated with maintaining and servicing digital technology devices and networks in your schools is draining precious resources. Your devices and networks are becoming out-moded in record time, but the funds to replace them are not materialising at the same rate! As I meet more and more principals across the country, I am hearing a variety of philosophical positions on the efficacy of having a separate digital technology curriculum.

    I am also hearing about and reading research that is warning us as educators about the effects on young people of 'screen time' and whether we could be placing young people in danger by contributing to over-exposing them to technology too early in their learning development. I believe that with so many current views on this topic, it would be helpful to pause and have those conversations so that whatever position we adopt in the future, we can do so with confidence and in the best interests of our young peoples' learning."

    What do you think?

    I would be interested in knowing what research or reading re screen time is being referred to here? Much of what I have seen supporting that view has been little more than scaremongering. It is really about what you are doing with the device, than the time you spend on it. If all a child is doing is playing games then, yes the time on that would be an issue. But what if they are reading? Or creating? Or communicating? It is all a balance of activity rather than how much time they are using a device. After all isn't a book just another form of device? Just with one purpose rather than multiple. For some reason I don't see many people concerned with a child spending hours reading a book, even though it places the same sort of focused stress on our eyes.

    - By Darren Sudlow
      • Darren Sudlow
        By Darren Sudlow
        Mar 12

        I would be interested in knowing what research or reading re screen time is being referred to here? Much of what I have seen supporting that view has been little more than scaremongering. It is really about what you are doing with the device, than the time you spend on it. If all a child is doing is playing games then, yes the time on that would be an issue. But what if they are reading? Or creating? Or communicating? It is all a balance of activity rather than how much time they are using a device. After all isn't a book just another form of device? Just with one purpose rather than multiple. For some reason I don't see many people concerned with a child spending hours reading a book, even though it places the same sort of focused stress on our eyes.

        • Tessa Gray
          By Tessa Gray
          Mar 12

          Kia ora Allanah, I had clicked on the link to this newsletter and read,

          I welcome your views on this important topic so that I can be confident that I am representing your voices on Digital Technology in Wellington. 

          and wondered where to add my views (couldn't find a link), so thanks for kick starting this conversation here.

          I agree this Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko journey is new for us all and growing teacher knowledge, confidence and capability is going to be a real priority, but I'm not sure that having a separate technology curriculum will help with resourcing/funding issues that's associated with the use (wear tear) and rapid rate of change in technologies. This is an on-going issue that can be a real challenge for schools.. Having long-term strategic plans in place for infrastructure (purchasing, hiring, maintenance) is vital. 

          I also think screen time is a real issue, but in the primary schools I have contact with, there's often a small (sometimes limited) ratio of devices per child and there's always time allocated for the usual; reading, writing, numeracy, arts, physical education, assemblies, guest visitors, drama productions, camps, trips outside the classroom, that doesn't include any screen time, so in a way, I see this being more of a problem at home (my home included). Mind due, these are just my experiences and are not the case across the whole country.

          What I find more useful is research such as Children's use of digital technologies researchUnderstanding children’s use and experience with digital technologies (Victoria University of Wellington, June 2017) which shows the inequalities of accessibility of resources (at school and at home) and content for NZ children, in particular for Māori. 

          I also think we need to keep the momentum (and these conversations) going forward. While businesses will readily upgrade their tools of the trade, one thing the health service and education have in common,  is the constant need to purchase and upgrade technologies on a fixed budget. While some schools find innovative ways to make the resources accessible, they're also teaching their students and their whānau about the safe and healthy practices for online/screen time on devices. 

          I think Whetu Cormick is right, it's time for more kōrero with a moral imperative in mind!

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