Games, social media undermine education
To the editor:
I just wanted to comment on the excellent opinion page piece by Edward Udel in The Eagle on Monday, March 14 that points out problems in public education and also offers a solution to attempt on a trial basis — and at my age suggests a back to the future concept.
However, these students have homes (at least most of them) where both parents (and certainly single parents) must work, often cobbling together jobs, for stagnant wages and few benefits to try to stay in the ever shrinking middle class, thus having less time and energy to devote to their children. Electronic devices serve as a surrogate.
As noted by Mr Udel, a huge portion of waking hours is spent in front of electronic screens of some sort (as I compose this on my laptop) and the printed word is in a seemingly losing competition for eyeballs and brains — particularly if it's on paper and requires focused attention, as newspaper format, content and circulation numbers can attest.
Entertaining youngsters with games, social media and videos is how formative years are experienced by far too many and despite the realities of our time, as we sow, so shall we reap.
And speaking of reaping, I'd be curious to know how much money goes toward those high stakes tests and bubble test-oriented curriculum materials as well as specific test prep materials, both print and electronic, (sold by the same company of course), and the relationships of those corporate board members to the education reformers and officials. But perhaps I'm reading too much into all of this.
Nevertheless, thanks Ed for your continuing thought-provoking insights — hope some of our education officials get to read your pieces.
Neil F. Clarke, Lee