Emerging e-learning technology and its impacts on child development

According to a report published in 2015 by International Telecommunication Union, 3.2 percent of the world’s current population is connected to the globe of internet. Internet has made information accessible at anyplace anytime. It not only offers entertainment, but also serves as a source of education and learning. This method of learning is called E-learning. Internet has been found extremely useful among adults, but its advantages are yet to be discovered among children, not sure if there are any.

Without any evidence of learning, “learning applications for toddlers” is a trending category in application stores. E-learning among kids has now emerged as a whole new marketplace for companies to do their business. Pakistan, being a developing country, did not hesitate in adopting new technologies in any sector, be it education or health. A few of the known institutes in the education sector of Pakistan have made electronic devices like tablets, which are small mobile computers, compulsory in classrooms and homes as well. But has anyone bothered to study if there are any beneficial outcomes of this operation or not? The answer is No. E-learning in Pakistan’s education system works parallel to the issues highlighted by Arslan Muzammil in his article.

Back in 2009, Disney had to refund all the customers for selling “Educational” DVDs, which failed to provide any improvement in learning. The benefits of E-learning among infants are just exaggerated and the targeted audiences of these pseudo-learning companies are the children of ages ranging from 0 to 2.

There is evidence found that watching educational videos and performance of E-tasks by children older than 2 years can help them prepare for school but this also creates problems in cognitive development and language-learning. In 2010, an experiment was performed on two groups of children; the first group was made to watch a video on how to build a particular object, while the other was presented with live demonstration. The result was that the second group performed the task better. Another study conducted in 2014 also found that children learn 22 times better from real-world 3D objects with their parents actively involved, rather than touching screens.

E-learning also increases the over-all screen time of children, which is not good for their mental and physical development. Children who play with tabs and phones are more likely to have physiological disorders. Mental disorders include delay in cognitive development and learning process. One of these issues is discussed by Quralatulain Nazakat in her article.

Hence, it is mandatory to study the effectiveness of E-learning among kids before implementing it in our educational process. Just like a coin has two sides, everything has its advantages and disadvantages. It is important to know that the benefits weigh more than the disadvantages before we implement anything in our systems like the education, which can affect the lives of the children.

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