‘Anti-mobile’ rebellion becomes a duty for administration and families

Miguel Alvarez Peralta is a professor at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid. At the beginning of the course, he began an “experiment” that involved returning to the classroom “from the last century”: one of Mobiles Or not Computers. It’s not the first time he’s done it, though he’s always done it at other universities. In this, the cost to him is a little high. “I noticed student reluctance, and teachers were used to teaching with 80 or 90% of participants looking at a screen,” he says. “There is a Screen addiction“It has a very negative impact on performance. And any teacher can demonstrate it in a small way. This happened in his case: 97.3% of students said that they would pay more attention if they saw paper and a pen on their desk. 92%, who retained classes better.

There are scientific studies that support these statistics. A document released this June by the National Center for Curriculum Development in Non-Proprietary Institutions (CEDEC), under the Ministry of Education, affirmed that technologies in the classroom are to blame. distraction While studying, dependence Excess, tendency TheftDifficulty developing skills Critical thinking, Waste of time Difficulty in finding reliable and factual information. Regarding the latter, A A study prepared by the Carlos III University of Madrid In 2021: Half of ESO students do not differentiate a fake news Real information.

This is not surprising. According to the same study, younger They have information through social networks and their media references Influencers. Of those surveyed for the report, 64.4% said they read news through Instagram and 10.4% through TikTok.

Ban in Madrid, Galicia and Castilla-La Mancha

Even so, the problem with screens goes further. The debate about its presence in the classrooms of young children is already a fact. This week, the Catalan Department of Education launched a consultation process to gather the opinions of teachers, families, students and paediatricians regarding the use of mobile phones in class. The aim is to have a new regulatory framework in place by January 2024. For now, the Community of Madrid, Galicia and Castilla-La Mancha They restrict their presence in classrooms, and in Madrid’s case, this is necessary for reasons of health or disability. Internationally, in France They are not allowed for students below 15 years of age Portugal Its use is prohibited unless authorized by the author.

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In the case of Catalonia, several families organized by Telegram to demand the publication of education regulations that restrict the presence of cell phones in schools “as much as possible.” It was in a city in Barcelona, New city, ten days ago. The name they chose for their group was “Pobleno, Adolescence Leur de Mobil”. Xavier Casanovas, its spokesman, explains that it was “spontaneous” on the part of “a group of fathers and mothers concerned about the presence of cell phones in their children’s lives”. “The aim is to reduce social pressure on families and not take it for granted that children should be given a mobile phone when they transition from Class 6 to Class 1 of ESO,” he explains. “We want Delays the arrival of phones until age 16 And what we ask is that institutions support this decision of families. “If I decide not to give my son a cell phone and he hangs out with kids who have cell phones in his free time, my choice is invalid,” she explains.

They planted the seeds, but now 110 groups have been formed with the same objective. “There are more than 50 in Catalonia alone,” he continues. Madrid, Basque Country, Andalusia, Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Navarra, Castilla-La Mancha, Galicia, Murcia and Cantabria. “We realize that there are actually a lot of families who want to postpone the arrival of phones,” says Casanovas.

For now, it speaks to the increasingly pervasive presence of data technology. And increasingly at a young age. According to The National Institute of Statistics (INE) recently published, 94.9% of 15-year-old boys and girls already have their own mobile phone, although this declines with age, and has already reached 21.2% in those 10 years. The big jump happens precisely at this age: the percentage of people who already own a mobile phone A rise of 40.3% in 11 years. In 201938.1% of those under 11 had their own phone.

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Worryingly, although INE does not collect this data, both men and women do Under 10 years This technology exists. According to the XII Barometer of Families in Spain by The Family Watch Foundation, they are almost 20%.

“It’s not a matter of age, but of education”

“At this age, using a phone is very dangerous. The brain is still in its infancy and doesn’t remember what it’s like to not have hyper-connectivity,” says Álvarez Peralta. For CEDEC, the use of technology by minors also occurs Exposure to inappropriate content, isolation, lack of physical activity, sleep deprivation, loss of privacy and online risks A new form of cyberbullying Bullying Organizations like ANAR Foundation have already warned.

However, all these effects do not appear due to the use of technological devices, but rather due to the use to which they are given. Sylvie Pérez, educational psychologist and professor at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), understands this. “There is no harmful device, no cell phone. All we have to do is Teach them how to use it“, he argues. Author Anna Ramis 0 to 3, no screens? And the publisher of the Childhood and Screens report thinks the same. “Delaying the provision of a digital device at the age of 16 without doing anything before is wrong. This is not an age-restricted issueRather it’s about introducing the technology step by step and explaining how it can be put to good use,” he highlights.

It should be done inside and outside the classrooms. “Should be Two levels of protection Against the harmful effects of technology. One is in education centers, where digital education should be present but well understood. Another is within the family, teaching why we need devices,” Ramis continues.

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However, two experts point out, the debate This also applies to adults. “We also need to question what ideas capitalism has put into all of our heads. If we don’t do anything, we’re wasting time, so we’re constantly consuming screens. Coil. As a society we are in that behavior and we see our sons and daughters captured by these devices. Naturally, that drives them to reach out,” says Ramis. “Technology gives us a constant cycle of satisfaction, one after the other. This eventually makes the brain more easily bored,” says Perez.

In fact, the Screen addiction It is already considered another pathology similar to dependence on any other tool or substance. One in five young people are at risk of being affected. This has been confirmed by research The impact of screens on the lives of adolescents and their families in situations of social vulnerability: Real and virtual, presented by Cáritas. To argue this, here’s a fact: 36% of 12- to 17-year-olds spend more than six hours a day in front of their phone screen.

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