Failure to Connect
How Computers Affect Our Children's Minds - and What We Can Do About it
By (author) Jane M. Healy
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Failure to Connect by Jane M. Healy
Book DescriptionThough most parents of school-age and even preschool children believe that computers are essential to learning, the truth, according to Jane Healy, is that more important educational priorities are being pushed aside in the rush to buy computers and computer related products. Once a bedazzled enthusiast of educational computing, now a troubled sceptic, Healy spent hundreds of hours talking to school administrators, teachers, parents, and students to provide this balanced and thoughtful evaluation of computers in the school and at home. In FAILURE TO CONNECT, she examines the benefits and drawbacks of computer use for children, arguing that time spent on computers is often time stolen from other developmentally important activities such as reading and creative play. Healy also suggests that most schools overlook the most critical technology component: adequate teacher training. FAILURE TO CONNECT also explores the effects computers have on children's health, brain development, creativity and their social and emotional needs. Based on years of research, FAILURE TO CONNECT is a timely and eye-opening examination of the central questions we must confront as technology increasingly influences the way we educate our children.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780684855394
(214mm x 139mm x 22mm)
Imprint: Simon & Schuster
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: 15-Oct-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jane M. Healy
Endangered Minds, Paperback (November 1999)» View all books by Jane M. Healy
The author links the inability of children to concentrate to the electronic media, changes in life-styles, and the decline of literacy.
UK Kirkus Review » A challenge to all those who think that computer literacy is vital for a child's education and future prospects. The author, a US-educational psychologist, makes her overall assessment clear from the title. She's concerned not just with the much-vaunted dangers of missing out on real play, forming friendships and social interactions. Healy also questions the value of even so-called 'educational' programmes, and explains how computers may actually impair acquisition of vital skills during crucial stages in a child's brain development. She includes multiple tips for parents (and teachers) no how to choose, monitor and promote the best computer experiences. But 'don't ever forget that the best multimedia, interactive environment is the real world.' Highly recommended. (Kirkus UK)
US Kirkus Review » A crisp critique of the impact of computers on children's minds by educator Healy (Your Child's Growing Mind, 1990. etc.), who contends that, in our fervor to embrace computers, we have overlooked their potential to harm youth, particularly young children. Drawing on extensive interviews with school administrators, teachers, parents, and children themselves, Healy concludes that the problems caused by excessive computer use are staggering: Among regular users, for example, visual impairment is now the norm, and hard-core cyberchildren, lacking sufficient physical exercise, as a result also grow up less fit mentally than their parents. Even more disturbing is the potential impact on brain development, since the processes of thinking aloud, questioning, creative problem-solving, and communicating will be inevitably downplayed by those who rely on computers to process data. Despite the shrill alarm she sounds, Healy doesn't dismiss computers outright, and she maintains that, used moderately and guardedly, they can enrich young people's lives: When 125 "at-risk" students in New York City were given home computers with online hookups, for example, Internet-research began to substitute for television viewing and severely withdrawn pupils began to communicate with one another online. For in-school use, the perfect model, in Healy's view, is the Gold River Discovery School outside Sacramento, Calif. Here, students who use computers are "continually coached on how to take responsibility and reflect on their learning." Hands-on learning always precedes computer use, and virtual reality is never allowed to take the place of genuine experience. Throughout, Healy intersperses her assessment with practical advice: She urges parents and educators to be wary of software that is overly stimulating to the senses alone, to avoid programs that give "rewards" for completing tasks, and to be on guard that children don't avoid playing with friends in favor of spending more time interacting with their computers. A timely and sensible challenge to the prevalent notion that computers necessarily enhance mental development and learning. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Jane M. Healy
Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. is a teacher and educational psychologist who has worked with young people of all ages, from pre-school to graduate school. She has been a classroom teacher, reading and learning specialist, school administrator, and clinician. She is currently a lecturer and consultant, and the author of three books about how children do (and don't) learn, Your Child's Growing Mind, Endangered Minds, and Failure to Connect. She and her work have been featured in national media such as CNN and NPR. She has twice been named "Educator of the Year" by Delta Kappa Gamma, the professional honor society of women educators. Jane and her husband claim they have learned most of what they know from raising three sons and enjoying six grandchildren.
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