How Using Tablets And Laptops In Schools Are Killing Brain Cells


We all own them. We rely on them. We are glued to them. What am I talking about? Laptops and tablets of course! In recent years, we have seen a mass introduction of these devices into school and classroom environments. Initially, it was thought that this was an excellent way to help children to learn differently, engage in the classroom in new ways and help with independent learning and research skills. However, a new spin on the use of laptops and tablets in classrooms has posed the question as to whether they’re actually doing more harm than good for the students.


Killing Brain Cells

Of course, there’s the age old story of digital devices killing brain cells. Obviously there is some truth to this statement in the fact that no, it is definitely not healthy to spend an entire day sat in front of a device. It can cause headaches, repetitive strain injury (RSI) and eye problems, all of which can lead on to more serious – and sometimes permanent – health issues. But what other problems do laptops and tablets bring to the classroom?


No More Handwriting Classes

There are some fears that it could lead to students losing the ability to write – or even never being taught how to write in the first place, if they start straight off using a laptop or tablet. What is the need of a pen or pencil to jot down some notes when you can use a keyboard and type far more quickly than you could ever write. Not to mention using predictive text or even using a voice recording device to playback lessons and to help students to learn! Furthermore, with the development of tablets that are specifically designed for school and work, and are even called “notebooks”, what is the need to write in a real notebook?


Spelling Problems

It could also lead to several spelling issues in students, which could potentially lead to further issues in later life. With electronic devices you have access to immediate spell check and predictive text. This allows people to become lazy – they no longer need to spell, because the device will just correct the word for them. There’s no need to write full words sometimes, because predictive text will guess what you’re saying after you have typed our just the first letter. It’s an incredibly scary thought that such clever devices we feel blessed to have a daily use of could actually be preparing us for a very illiterate future.


The Pros

But surely there must be some pros to balance out these cons if experts are so dead set on introducing tablets and laptops into classrooms? Well, one of the major ones is that it’s slightly more environmentally friendly. Yes, we are still using a lot of electricity to power these babies up, but we are using a lot less paper if we no longer need to print and reprint registers, work sheets, homework sheets, notebooks and exercise pads…this would save a huge amount of paper and would require far less trees needing to be cut down if the entire world took part in this technical transition.With deforestation being a massive global concern, this could begin to answer several problems.


But would it be worth it, to only then raise illiterate children, creating a very much digital based future? Would it go so far that people didn’t even need to speak any more and instead needed to just send an email out? It poses a lot of questions, that’s for sure, but at the rate things are going, it seems like we won’t have to wait for the answers to those questions for too long…