This Is Your Brain On Wi-Fi…
It’s comforting (in a morbid, misery-loves-company-kind-of-way) that educational systems in other countries have problems. We hear a lot about Asia kicking our butts, especially in math and science, but we don’t hear of jolly old England’s technophobic teachers very often.
This comes just after Elton John suggested the Internet was destroying art and should be shut down – and our Bill of Rights suddenly regains some relevance, reminding us of the madness of King George (of England, not the US).
The Register reports that the Professional Teachers Association wants YouTube and Wi-Fi banned, as YouTube encourages student-on-teacher violence because of videos appearing there, and because Wi-Fi is scrambling the children’s otherwise impressionable brains.
Now, it’s unclear if the PAT presented actual, quantifiable evidence that Wi-Fi is unsafe, the Reg didn’t mention that. But educators claim Britain’s children are being used as guinea pigs "in a massive Wi-Fi safety experiment."
They cite a spike in distraction, fatigue, forgetfulness, and headaches as evidence for an investigation into Wi-Fi, making me wonder if they still think cell phones cause brain cancer. But at least they’re not feeding them Ritalin via Pez dispensers like in the US.
I can’t back up what I’m about to say with any evidence, either, but it seems appropriate in this context – it’s all just a bunch of theories anyway. It may be the "always-on" society that’s emerging rather than a specific technological delivery method.
Social networking and IMs that keep them up at night, starting school very early in the morning afterward just as their body chemistry is demanding more sleep, constantly looking at computer screens, television screens, and having to juggle schoolwork as well – they’re learning to become excellent multitaskers at the expense of being able to focus on doing one thing at a time.
Whether that’s good or not is still up for debate.
Either that, or they’re smoking a lot more dope.