Are children smarter because of the Internet?

Published: 2019-08-28 03:15:58
1751 words
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Numerous studies have been conducted to measure the frequency of childrens use of internet at homes. Estimates have been varying from several hours per day to as few as three hours per week. Similarly, differences also occur on the methods of measuring the extents of internet use across different societies. Despite significant variability based on empirical estimates that has been made on the length of time of use og internet by children, the perception from members of the public on the time children take online is also highly dynamic across different communities globally. Few ranges of studies have also created an uncertain phenomenon regarding the existence of any impact of internet on the childs social outcomes. Nonetheless, the time spent online by children implies, time not spent elsewhere, which also entails the participation of children in other social activities and communication between families and friends. Internet facilitates communication across significantly large geographical separation of friends and families besides enhancing communication frequencies. Internet use by children however cannot be underscored with regard to its effect on childrens socialization process from elaborate exposure to the external environment. This paper will focus on the wide socialization impacts of internet on children.

Effects of Internet on Academic Performance of Children

Several scientific studies have been conducted on the impacts of computers on academic outcomes of children. However, the combined view of these studies provides an assertion that the impact is inconclusive. Despite the fact that there have been elaborate benefits attributable to computer use and the internet in particular, they commonly depend on different factors or the subject matters. The singled out cognitive outcome over which the benefits of internet use has been observed is mainly visual-spatial expertise (Jackson, et al. 34). Computer gaming, as one of the internet products among children consumables is considered to have a solid impact on visual-spatial skills particularly, when such skills are evaluated immediately after computer activity.

Internet use preceding academic assessments also has been associated with critical predictions on the academic outcomes of children. Children that are used to internet use more often demonstrate significant gains in academic accomplishments although this exposure does not create uniform results on all subjects. For instance, studies have shown that children with high exposure to internet have been poorly influenced by internet use in performing subjects such as Mathematics. Nonetheless, internet use has been credited with considerable improvement of the academic performance in multiple subject areas (Jackson, et al. 34-35).

There are essential caveats relevant to the interpretation of internet impacts on academic performance. Due to the divergent impacts of internet use on childrens academic performances, these concepts of academic improvement as a result of internet use demands additional research into future. Besides, the gains in academic performances of students have also been downplayed in many instances of academic portfolio since internet use has also been associated with numerous hitches on students social cognitive development due to some of the offensive contents that are principally present in various online platforms (Buckingham & Rebekah 18).

Using internet is also believed to have a social impact of improved reading test scores in schools among other areas of social development. The methodology of internet use by children is fundamental to the impacts that its use creates with regard to their performances. In particular, many children whose internet uses impacts positively to their academic performance are the web-users as opposed to either email use or other communication platforms. Web is principally text based. As a result, more time on web use is deemed to imply more times taken while reading online materials which acts as the main reason behind improved academic performance particularly in non-technical subjects like languages. Such subjects depend grossly on reading skills and other standardized scores that are improved by intense reading (Jackson, et al. 41).

Additional research shows that there is a critical relationship between technology use and academic performance in general. However, the causal relationship has been hard to establish empirically. Different studies however indicate that the presence of educational resources at homes such as computers is also presumed to have a significant academic impact on the success of both mathematics and sciences too when controlled use is adopted. High test scores have been linked with having a home computer even with controlled family incomes among other factors associated with reading the test scores. There has been a finding which shows that the participation of children in a set of networked learning community enhances educational outcomes particularly for the at-risk children. Internet is one of the platforms that enhance the participation of children in such a network (Jackson, et al. 43).

Some researchers also suggest that recent global rises in physical or non-verbal intelligence forms of test scores may be a product of exposure to proliferation of illustrations disposed through electronic technology. In this regard, the effect of use of computer-based technology and internet by children in academics remains considerably uncertain. The present evidence however posits that owning a computer at home is associated with better performance in the field of academics despite the fact that majority of literatures fail to curb on factors that align with having a home computer. The impacts computer-based schools and other after school activities are subtle although there have been numerous favorable impacts under certain circumstances such as existence of supportive learning environment (Jackson, et al. 53).

Influence of Children on Parents

Within majority of depictions regarding parent-child socialization, children learn from their parents and the effect is primarily flowing from parents to children. Nevertheless, these roles and flow of influence has been relatively differentiated and reversed in instances where parents learn from their children. This instance is a product of internet use by children which raise their social cognitions. These instances also mainly entail reverse socialization which generally refer to manners in which young people leverage and change their elders perceptions and conducts. It is also highly probable to have an instances in children have new views or recently adopted perceptions, skills and behaviors which parents lack. Internet has been one of the platforms that have led to this scenario where children have a wider understanding of the global trends and general physical set ups than their parents resulting to a situation of reversed socialization where parents are taught by their children. For instance, parents are more likely to be influenced on areas perceived to have major influences on adolescents and its effects on their children such as perception of new cars and clothing styles (Berns 56). In such instances, internet tends to increase social cognitions of the modest clothes designs and car models that their parents may not be exposed to. These aspects are therefore subject to transfer from the children to parents as opposed to the general order of transfer from parents to children via the concept of reversed socialization.

These aspects are also consistent with the assertions that children are often considered agents of social change with regard to digital media perspectives. In these cases, children may be considered essential sources of their parents exposure to novel knowledge and social norms. There are certain elements in the social-cultural segments that are considered as essential sources of reverse socialization. In particular, the aspect of pre-figurative culture occurs when individual develop unfamiliar and overly changed scenarios especially when a new era occur. The advent of internet is considered as one of the changes that can create social-cultural changes. In case of changes, research shows that parents or the elders in general are less associated with preferential consideration of adopting internet technology. In the regard, the access of internet to children who are more actively involved often creates an instance in which they are exposed to more contents from the global context as opposed to their parents (Buckingham & Rebekah 44). With increased access to incredible contents, the socialization perspective of children is enhanced, an aspect that may lead to increased social cognition.

Elders have been associated with minimal adaptability by both experience and knowledge which is tied up to past. Youth is pre-figurative culture form the onset focusing on both present and future while being less anchored to the past compared to their elders. As a result, young children and elders share different perspectives as a result of differing pillars of reference. In pre-figurative cultures therefore, children are more likely to lead than follow their parents due to increased access to information particularly, in their access to internet information and concepts (Buckingham & Rebekah 54).

Exposure to internet contents also creates a change in the social positions in the society. While children are expected to follow the directions set up by their adults, the interactions with multiple cultures globally through the internet may lead to their posing significant challenges to adults attitudes and conducts. The historical trends and incidences are believed to provide essential generational experiences which may have major effects on both the meaning and structures of the parent-children relationships and interactions. Internet use has also been linked with cultural changes as children engage in rigorous interactions in diverse cultural settings and frameworks (Giddens & Richard 46).

The access to diverse cultures from the internet often results in ambiguity, fears and expectation which eventually trigger social changes from the formerly inculcated values by their immediate social-cultural environments. Digital revolution that has rendered increased access to internet by children has resulted to the eventual social change. Such revolution has also created robust reversal in parent-children information hierarchy. In the contemporary society, internet has resulted into a historically significant scenario in which children may have higher expertise relative to their parents regarding innovations that are closely linked with societys digital media (Buckingham & Rebekah 49). Observers have also indicated that with the contemporary exposure to the internet, children have become more knowledgeable, comfortable and literate compared to their parents on matters pertaining to digital media.

Language Brokerage

In the context of pre-figurative societies, and the social-technological changes, experts have referred to parents as immigrants in time while children have been referred as first generation within a new country. As immigrants, children exposed to internet learn language and different cultures faster compared to their parents as a result of experiences in both schools and their peers. Internet use increases information and understanding. Children may also socialize their guardians by teaching them. Besides, such children exposed to the internet also do tasks for their parents in different but new languages (Cho & Hongsik 33). Some of the children acting as language brokers may also develop into decision makers within their families an aspect that shows acute socialization process through kno...


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