Of weaning kids away from e-tech learning apps
   Date :19-Jun-2022

loud thinking
By Vijay Phanshikar :
OF COURSE, when a vast majority in the society starts following a trend, it does not take long to become a common practice. Yet, that does not mean that every popular practice is correct. If that happens to be the case, then it is also necessary to caution the society against it -- only as a matter of friendly suggestion. Online classes became a norm in the coronavirus pandemic because schools (in particular) remained closed, but the process of education had to be continued. In line with this new imperative, quite many school-learning apps too came up and started attracting the larger society. Countless numbers of families chose those apps to help their children in studies, which soon became a fashion. There should be no opposition to any good idea.
However, before we accept those learning apps as a final solution to issues of children’s studies, we must give a serious reconsideration to the thought. For, even if those e-tech facilities appear useful at first look, their long-term effects may not be actually good for the children’s learning process. There may be differing opinions on this issue, all right. But there would be no one ever to insist that the learning apps are a good replacement for schools. Individual schools may have their plus and minus points, but the school as an institution has long established its primacy in all societies around the world. If one part of the child is nurtured at home, then another part is groomed in school -- which is a complete eco-system. It is only natural that no learning app can be as complete as a school, even from the point of view of studies. Any app, at best, is only an educational aid, and never a complete platform by itself.
It is from this stand-point that the loud-thinker picks up courage to suggest to the larger society that leaning too much on school learning apps may not prove truly helpful to the children in the long run, though in short term, they may appear to benefit from the apps, all right. So, in principle, there need not be a stiff opposition to use learning apps as an aid to core studies, but not beyond a sensible point. In fact, the effort should be to wean the kids as much away as possible from e-tech gadgets as everybody agrees that e-technology has its limitations, though its promoters publicise their immense utility. The two pandemic-induced educational hiatus forced schools and families to resort to online learning.
Though that approach may have served some purpose, now everybody agrees that most children suffered heavily by way of loss of focus and shortening of attention span. Now that the schools have started functioning normally again, everybody -- the teachers, the students and the families -- is beginning to feel the heat of the loss. Considering this, it is wise for the larger society, too, to keep the children safe from excessive domination of e-tech-based school learning apps and motivate the kids to study directly from books. School managements, too, would do well to start moving away from e-tech formats. The loud-thinker is aware that some people may dislike these suggestions. But then, he is also conscious that every transformation brings along a lot of reconsideration of the idea as well. That is the only motivation here.