Magazine article Technology and Children

Technology and Wellness at Home and School

Magazine article Technology and Children

Technology and Wellness at Home and School

Article excerpt

Over the years, the way that children play, exercise, and interact with their environment has changed drastically. Children's wellness has been affected by different social, environmental, and technological factors. This article discusses ways that teachers and parents can influence children's health and wellness by modifying their behaviors and by modeling alternative activities. Technology has made many improvements to the quality of life. It also has produced some negative impacts that people need to learn to overcome in order to achieve good wellness.

technology and wellness at home

Wellness is generally described as a healthy balance of mind, body, and spirit that results in a feeling of well-being. This means that, not only are children healthy and physically fit, but they are curious, confident, able to interact positively with their peers, and open to new ideas. For example, a child's clay at school is very full, with many different tasks that must be accomplished. Children are expected to do well in their individual subjects as well as get along with their classmates.

When students leave school and return home they usually have lots of free time on their hands. The use of that free time has changed over the years, too, from usually spending most of their out-of-school time outdoors, running and playing games, to becoming involved in more inactive indoor styles of play. Today there are very sophisticated technological video games that are played on the television. As most teachers know, some of the video games have less than positive themes. Playing these games is a sedentary activity: the heart rate does not increase as it does during aerobic exercise. Children spend more time indoors instead of being outdoors. The children are not playing an actual game of baseball and running the bases, they are using alternate thumbs to press buttons in order to move cyberplayers to make great plays and move them around an imaginary field. This television/ video scenario plays out in many different "thematic" styles, such as superhero, cat racing, and war games. These can be violent and not very positive for learning or attitude development. (Children's attitudes are a big part of overall wellness.) There are many different educational software programs and video games, however, that are both entertaining and positive. But the fact remains that the child operating the "controller" is not playing with others either inside or outside, and he or she is not involved in using his/her creativity to design solutions to imaginary problems or to create her own fun.

Today's television, recorded media, movies, and radio leave a lot to be desired in terms of preparing children to be good citizens and to realize what real wellness is all about. Entertainment systems have amazing technology, graphics, and audio that are focused primarily on influencing children to consume, or pressure their parents to consume, certain products. Some of these products remove the imagination and design aspect that all children need. Sometimes children have more fun playing with the box that a new product came in.

What children eat and how they help to prepare meals at home can also let them become aware of good wellness practices. Simply heating prepared/processed foods or meals in a microwave, rather than preparing a good balanced meal misses out on an opportunity to discuss the instruments, tools, machines, and processes that are needed to cook or "design" a well-balanced dinner. Plus, processed foods are not very healthy. Recipes give an opportunity to use math, to measure, to read, make decisions, discuss, and appreciate, or not, depending on the success of the final product. However, in the early twenty-first century, dinnertime, or having the entire family eating together, is not as common as it used to be. It's not uncommon to have both parents working, with different schedules, so that meals are prepared hurriedly with the product as the goal and not the process. …

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