At the moment there is a rethinking not only in schools around the world. Current educational models are being questioned, and new models are being tested at the same time. As is so often the case, Finland and Singapore are pioneers. The ubiquity of digital media has become indispensable. They change the habits of adults and adolescents and even affect toddlers and babies.
Some information first: Various actors around the world are investigating how digital media affect our behavior, our brain and our mental health. Just to make it clear, in science you need about 20 years to be able to prove effects. For example, tablets have only been used by toddlers for a maximum of 7 to 8 years. The first people to sound the alarm were people who had to do with children in practice.
This is the current status of research in 2019:
- Less impulse control and cognitive problems. The tests reveal learning difficulties and reduced memory performance. These are all hallmarks of attention disorder.
- Smartphones and tablets determine our everyday life. They intervene in even our most basic relationships. They are now suspected of influencing the bond between parents and children.
- The brain of a child under two years of age is unable to analyze what is happening on a screen. Children find it difficult to distinguish between three-dimensional and two-dimensional space. You cannot relate what you see on screen to the real world.
- Children find it much more difficult to study with a screen than with face-to-face interaction. The learning performance with a screen is reduced by around 15 percent compared to real interaction. This is called a transfer deficit, i.e. the difficulty in processing information.
- No screens under 2 to 3 years of age - this is the official recommendation of most scientific and medical institutions worldwide. Until the age of 5 to 6, they advise limiting the duration to 60 minutes a day. Preferably accompanied by an adult and not during meals or at bedtime.
What happens on a screen stimulates a toddler's brain less than reality. So the time children spend in front of the screens is, in a sense, a wasted time. Therefore, the child should use the time to learn the essential cognitive and social skills.
In our Natureich shop you will find numerous examples and options such as educational toys or children's books that can help your child to use their valuable time away from screens in a meaningful way.Read in our second part: The school subjects of tomorrow - Part 2: Doing things with your hands