When is digital inclusion good?

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There is a lot of talk about helping "digital inclusion" but not much talk about what precisely is desirable about this, and what negative effects have to be avoided or counteracted.

Retaining freedom

Schools shouldn't teach children that sharing or helping each other is wrong. Since a lot of software licences (such as Microsoft's and Apple's) prohibit these things, this type of software should not be allowed in schools.

How computer usage can harm children

Use of computers (and TVs, smartphones, pads etc.) is harmful, particularly for children. The source of the problem is sometimes described as "excessive use", but when "excessive" is defined as more than 2 hours a day of screen time, it's clear that this could also be called "current typical use".

Children and teenagers are particularly at risk and these groups often already have excessive amounts of screen time outside of school, so adding computer usage to school activities should be done cautiously.

  • A review of the evidence in the Archives Of Disease in Childhood says children's obsession with TV, computers and screen games is causing developmental damage as well as long-term physical harm. Doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which co-owns the journal with the British Medical Journal group, say they are concerned. ...
  • There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers being released on Thursday. ...

External links

Richard Stallman

Use of free software in schools