Voices of Youth

Balance digital, print media in schools

Balance digital, print media in schools

The idea of an all-digitalised teaching system and school may appeal to the younger generation.

"Convenience," they may argue, "What if something like the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) strikes again? E-learning comes in handy then" ("Reinventing classes, pushing boundaries"; July 30).

However, Singaporeans want technology in schools because of one thing: They rely too much on it.

Why would children in kindergarten be given tablets? Because a tablet can keep them quiet more than any storytelling session or nap time.

But does it help them learn effectively? It degrades their physical and mental health.

Technological devices have reportedly given rise to new medical conditions and myopia in children as early as the age of four.

Also, if one is looking at a screen all the time from a young age, with little interaction with real people, where would one gain social skills?

Technology still does not offer some of the features we have with print media. Highlighting and writing become a hassle.

What if some parts of your screen are unresponsive to touch? The teacher could have gone on to the next lesson while you're still waiting for your device to be repaired.

Also, one hitch is the distraction of games or social media apps during a lesson.

While technology is useful, we should keep print media alive in schools. We need everything in moderation.

Goh Yee Weng, 18,
second-year polytechnic student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline 'Balance digital, print media in schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe