Technology is a Trade-Off

Technology change is a trade-off

After reading Postman’s five things we need to know about technological change, I would like to share several examples of his first idea ‘that all technological change is a trade-off’.

Firstly, I work as a teacher aide in lower primary.  Over the last five years there has been a decline in the children’s handwriting skills.  The most obvious is the problems the students display with their fine motor skills.   Many students enter school without knowing how to hold a pencil properly or use scissors.

In the article Tech-savvy kids can’t push a pencil, there are discussions over the creation of the iPad technology.  The article mentions that children are losing their handwriting skills, as touch-screen pinching, swiping and typing and a lack of physical exercises leaves them with underdeveloped arm and hand muscles.

The articles outlines that simple childish activities with play-dough, dressing dolls or putting blocks would be a great support in helping to develop fine motor skills that lead to supporting children with handwriting skills.  Some parents think that the iPad is a one-stop shop, where they can even colour in on the iPad and therefore do not believe there is still a need for simple childish activities as stated above.

In this article, Occupational therapist Kimberley Strahan wrote about how there has been a noticeable increase in the number of children being referred by schools for fine motor skills therapy since the introduction of the iPad.

The second example I came across was from Wendy’s touching true story about her deaf son Daniel.  Wendy shared how Daniel’s quality of life had improved due to the wonderful world of technology of hearing aids that has allowed him to communicate with the world.  The major disadvantage of this technology for him was when his teacher yelled in the classroom and his hearing aids picked up this high pitched sound and it went straight into his ears and made him unwell.  In this instance the same technology that was helping Daniel, was also failing him at the same time. To fully understand how the hearing aids work I went onto the Australian Hearing website that Wendy made mention of.


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