NAPLAN results prove writing on the wall for ‘screen-agers’
IS IT any wonder that last week’s NAPLAN results show that the writing skills of Years 7 and 9 students have gone backwards?
Before we play the blame game between teachers and parents, we need to look at the growing elephant in the room: screen time by screenagers.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne saw the “lack of improvement” as a wake-up call to go “back to basics” in school education.
For many of us parents, this means tangible basics, not virtual basics. We have seen the effects of our children surfing between education and entertainment on the slippery screens.
As parents, we are the first teachers in our children’s lives. We can block the applications, look over their shoulder, teach them selfdiscipline, apply time restrictions and prohibit screens in bedrooms. But with so much school work becoming screen-centred, distractions abound.
The temptation to discreetly flick between distractions is at their fingertips and minimised when footsteps approach.
At least with textbooks, it is transparent that the student is focused on the subject matter and parents can see that no one has been snuck in through the windows.
As parents, we have seen our children’s learning curve flatten as tablets have replaced textbooks from Year 7.
We have seen their handwriting deteriorate as the computer brain auto-