Oblazney Proposal on Technology and Children

Context

Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billintroduced/Senate/pdf/2017-SIB-0081.pdf

The Senate Bill 81 is similar to my proposal in that it discusses the various rules that different levels of the education have regarding the creation of curriculum, including stating the ways in which a school system can update various parts of the curriculum to be more in touch with todays times. My proposal is reflective of this bill in that it promotes a curriculum with a solid balance of technology and traditional learning, and like this bill, is trying to enable schools to evolve properly at the same rate the rest of the world is changing.

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan: Technology is something that effects people of all backgrounds, economic statuses, religions, and races. Within education, employment, and leisure, technology is becoming ever more present. Instead of seeing a child playing outside or reading a picture book, you might find them playing a game on an iPad. Instead of a high school student talking to his girlfriend on the phone late at night, he might be messaging her through his iPhone. Additionally, within a school you may find students taking notes electronically on a laptop, or taking a field trip to a famous battle site via an online tour. In summary, technology is becoming ever more present within the lives of the youth, and will only continue to grow in influence in the world. Technology is powerful in that it can take us places we have never thought of before, such as the field trip example above. Additionally, technology can also prove to be a very scary thing, as it can lead to negative mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, lead students to be more distracted in school, and also lead to unwarranted sexting and cyberbullying. This proposal does two things to help students reap the benefits of technology and help mitigate the negative effects; through education and regulation. Through this proposal, parents will have a stronger grip of how technology effects children hopefully leading to stricter regulation of how many hours a child is on a device, help parents know if a student is struggling from depression, cyberbullying, or something similar, and help them better regulate their children’s electronic use. Additionally, this proposal will minimize technology in the classroom where it can be seen as distracting and keep important non-technological aspects key to cognitive development present in the classroom. Overall, this proposal will benefit all students across the board, as it will create a better learning environment that takes advantages of the power of technology, while creating a safer environment through mental health and bullying awareness that is not reaching the doors of parents as frequently as it should. 

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

Initial research for the proposal started on the internet, finding various facts about how technology effects students. Initially, I focused my research on how technology can negatively impact students, but then later leaned over to how it can broaden the horizons of what is possible in the classroom. I additionally asked around and had conversations with students both in high school and college about how they perceive technology has affected them and their experiences. When looking for my consultations, I wanted to talk to a diverse group of people who not only had experience working with children or have a psychology background, but would know the best ways to reach parents of diverse socio-economic backgrounds and create awareness of responsible technology use as seen in my proposal. Finally, through my service at 826 Michigan where I am doing my community service, office hours, and further online research, I have continued to refine my understanding of the issue to lead to the best proposal possible. 

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

After discussion with some other students in the MSC, I decided to serve at 826 Michigan, an organization that focuses on tutoring youth in local schools to help inspire creativity and better writing. I have learned a lot both from the youth and the people working there, specifically in discussions about my proposal. Through these experiences, I learned how to deal with issues regarding technology that my proposal is trying to is trying to address, specifically students being distracted on their phone. Additionally, it has given me a perspective to consider when creating my proposals and doing more research, as many of the students that are served at 826 Michigan come from lower income backgrounds in Ypsilanti and Detroit. This broadened my horizons and inspired me to look for discussions with professionals from a variety of schools, as seen within my consultations below. This is important as many schools have different exposures to technology. Therefore, my proposal needed a way to address all sorts of backgrounds in order to accomplish its goal of creating an evolving Michigan education system that is in line with the technology of the present.

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

News Article: The Hidden Epidemic- How Technology Affects Children

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pBjY9O9MRBlpmj0x5wLE434_ytntlUx1pyKpDgx0b38/edit?usp=sharing

Consultations

Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).

CONSULTATION 1:

Name: Carrie Pappas

Experience: Early Childhood Education Department Chair at St. Louis De Montfort Catholic School, experience in teaching Pre-K through Sixth Grade, teaching at a variety of schools from Detroit and Houston, at a variety of socio-economic levels.

Conversation: The discussion started with the use of technology within her school, stating that she does not specifically use technology in her class room as the preschool students are too young, and are already exposed to a great deal of technology in the outside world. She said that her curriculum is focused on learning the basics, specifically social skills, hands on play, and basic things about our world. She said that Kindergarten is where students start getting exposed towards more technology, specifically with smart boards, or big interactive screens on the wall used for education purposes. Overall, the technology use in her school generally increases as the students get over. When I asked questions about how to raise awareness for the proper balance of technology, as well as how to help parents understand how technology effects children, parent teacher nights and school newsletters were the best ideas. She did give constructive feedback in that students at some of the lower economic status schools she taught at may both not be able to afford iPhones or iPads, and may not even show up to the parent teacher nights as they have other things to worry about. She said that this way would still be effective at certain schools as this method of creating awareness is effective in other areas such as health. Overall, she believes that there needs to be a balance of technology and traditional learning in the classroom that gradually grows as students get older. 

CONSULTATION 2:

Name: Jeanne Krayscir

Experience: 4th Grade teacher in Saginaw, Michigan, Masters in Elementary Education

We started the conversation discussing the use of technology in her school. She stated that most testing is done on Chrome Books, and that four classrooms share a Chrome Cart, with 30 Chrome Books to share across these classrooms. She said that with this technology, the websites that they primarily use are approved by the state and are in line with the common core state standards. She said that she primarily works with at-risk students, and that many of these students do not have the same exposure to technology as people in higher income school districts. She said that it is important that schools keep handwriting activities and other basic activities, as she can be quoted saying “I have a fear kids wont know how to write their signature one day.” She emphasized that even though there are negatives, there are still a lot of positives. When asked about cyberbullying, she said that creating awareness is important and that she thinks it is a serious problem. She liked the idea that parent education meetings need to be offered, and gave the feedback that there needs to be more resources in schools such as police officers or other government officials to talk to the students themselves about the dangers of social media, technology addiction, and other technology related issues. Finally, she stated that it is on the parents to help raise their kids right, and that is the biggest counterargument to an education program like the one in my proposal.

CONSULTATION 3: 

Name: Constance Young

Experience: Developmental Therapist with Early Intervention, Outreach Manager for Indiana State First Steps, Masters in Early Childhood Education

Conversation Summary: The conversation started off with Constance regarding that this is an important and timely topic. She stated that she recently read an article by speech therapists on the new concept of teleference, which is the idea that there is a delay of learning language, as parents and kids are on their phones instead of developing language at key times for cognitive development. Overall, she emphasized that parents are not talking to children the way that they are used to, and technology is crazy when it comes to cognitive development. She also wanted to address the fact that it is hurting attention span, and that is one of the strong reasons it needs to be regulated in classes. 

“Everything is in the moment, students are looking for things quickly and not paying attention to conversations, everything is in snippets, you are looking at one thing then the next and it is bad for focus.” 

Another thing she said to go along with the teleference, is that there is a lack of eye contact when kids are using technology. She provides therapy service for children with autism, and stated that iPads remove the necessary eye contact needed in development. She went on to say that social media is not social, not a back and forth discussion but goes back to the snippet mindset. 

“Now we see in development that if you give a child an iPad, he is learning, we he or she learns so much more from creating with physical things, children learn through senses, they learn through touch, smell, taste, hearing, and vision. Technology removes a great deal of the aspects of these senses. The first thing a baby does is stick something in their mouth, metaphorically, you cannot do that with an iPhone. Its not learning.”

When asked about other negative effects, she said that addiction is also serious, reflecting earlier research. She said that the brain is changing, similar to drugs. The overall main feedback regarding focusing more on emphasizing learning through play and experiencing world around them.

CONSULTATION 4: 

Name: Dr. Kathleen Jodl

 

Experience: Lecturer, University of Michigan Developmental Psychology

 

Conversation: Our phone conversation started out with discussing the impact of technology on toddlers, with Dr. Jodl stating that she has seen research that it is best for children under the age of two to receive absolutely no screen time at all, with the only exception being Skype of Face time due to the face to face interactions which are necessary for early cognitive development. She went on to talk about that there is great correlation, not causation, and lots of literature on how aggressive video games and entertainment, when taken in a great quality (more aggressive material) and quantity, that children experience more aggressive and negative behaviors. She then went on to state that she still thinks that computer are great, but can interfere in learning. “Attention spans are getting killed,” she said, restating the importance of handwritten notes over using computers, as it is easy to get very distracted online. She said that technology can be beneficial in that it can be used to monitor how students are learning material, especially i-Clickers. She also brought up a unique point that the fact that word processors like Microsoft Word are more advanced and have significantly more editing capabilities than the old fashioned typewriter, stating that this change in technology has made people better writers. We ended our discussion about social media. She said that once again, she has seen not causation but correlation between social media and higher anxiety and depression, as well as an uptick in the suicide rate. Finally, she stated that at her home school district in Northville, teachers do provide parents with resources about proper technology use and inform parents about any potential threats that could pop up online, similar to my proposal.

 

Prospectus:

Describe the specific issue or problem, being sure to provide sufficient context so that someone less familiar with the issue has a sense of the bigger picture, but know that your focus here is on a more detailed spelling out of the specific problem or issue that you’ve identified. (250 words minimum)

Technology and the Developing Mind (Brandon Oblazney)

Technology has numerous benefits, making a variety of daily tasks significantly easier, especially within the education space. Specifically, tools like Canvas, Google Drive, and even the Michigan Student Caucus allow for easier collaboration and access to course material, and more efficient grading and turning in of assignments. However, various uses of technology, including the smartphone and social media, have been scientifically linked to poor cognitive developments within the teenage mind, an epidemic that I believe is silently sweeping the nation without a clear way to solve this problem. Specifically, technology has been seen to create an unhealthy addiction that mimics that of illegal drug use, hurts social cognitive development, and also leaves teens more prone to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Specifically, with social media, I have heard the saying “even though everybody is more connected, people are more alone than ever.” This is evident at the increased rates of suicide, anti-social behavior, depression, all issues discussed earlier (Ortiz). Finally, there are physical effects that technology can have on youth, as many students do not have the same movement skills that they did 10 years ago, shockingly tied in with the fact that some students do not even know how to hold a pencil at an appropriate age (Parker). In a world where technology use is increasing at a rapid pace, policy needs to be created that prepares young minds for this increasing immersion, to best harmoniously reap the benefits while mitigating the negative effects. The goal that I am hoping to achieve is not to negatively promote technology and shame its use, but to help create awareness of harmful effects that many people fail to address, aiming to create a proposal that finds the correct balance of electronic use within schools and at home.

Works Cited:

Ortiz, Adrianne Albarado. “SOUND OF MIND: Negative Effects of Technology in Children.” San Angelo. San Angelo. 19 April 2017.  Web. 11 March 2018. www.gosanangelo.com/story/life/wellness/2017/04/19/sound-mind-negative-effects-technology-children/99872132/.

Parker, Najja. “Children Unable to Properly Hold Pencils Because of Technology, Report Says.” AJC.com. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1 March, 2018. Web. 11 March 2018. https://www.ajc.com/news/world/children-unable-properly-hold-pencils-because-technology-report-says/uDxGPemuYneVEBVw1zUnxN/

Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION 1: Limiting Technology in Schools in the State of Michigan

Technology is said to have a major impact on several congitive aspects of a developing child. From my own personal experience, as well as the experiences of many others, it can be stated that the use of technology is ever increasing in all levels of education, from elementary school (as seen in educational games and videos) all the way to college (through more collaborative resources like Google Drive and Canvas). Cell phones are additionally becoming more prevalent among students. These technologies have many benefits, but as stated earlier, have many negative qualities that harm mental health, the attention span, and can potentially mirror the addictive effects of drugs. In order to reduce this, this proposal would force more strict technology restrictions on schools, best reducing the amount of screen time when possible in order to reduce the negative cognitive effects of technology. There are many studies that say that taking notes by hand is more effective than on the computer, as computers offer many distractions with the internet, and the person who is writing the notes is not as involved cognitively with the note taking process than if they were physically writing it with their hands. This proposal would be similar to Ross policies regarding technology, removing notes by tech when necessary and promoting the use of pen and paper writing, potentially rewarding schools financially for succeeding with this initiative. In summary, proposal would be primarily restrictive, in that it rewards schools in finding ways to use less technology and in turn reduce the negative mental health effects that come from looking at a screen for a prolonged period.

SOLUTION 2: Michigan Technology Awareness Program

Many people are not aware of the effects that technology can have on youth. Many children are using social media underage and do not understand proper electronic etiquette. Additionally, many parents fail to monitor their children's technology use leading to technology addiction as well as many of the negative cognitive effects including depression, increased anxiety, poor sleeping habits, reduced academic performance, and a worsened attention span. This statewide proposal would focus on the parents, as it would be an initiative to get parents to understand not only the obvious benefits of technology, but the various negative effects as well that it can have on their children. Additionally, it will tell parents to keep a closer eye on their children, in order to allow them to better monitor their children as well as teach them the rules of the internet, in order to keep them from potentially posting something they may regret. Finally, this initiative would focus on the solutions, giving parents a variety of mental health resources to their kids in case any symptoms of mental illness are very visible. Specific examples of what would be promoted would include enjoying a meal without having your phone out, or limiting time on technology, or having the parents follow the kids, giving them some freedom while still keeping an eye out for their overall well being. This initiative would take place through workshops, online promotion, and physical promotion through pamphlets and television advertising. The goal of this promotion is to hopefully raise awareness for the correct technological balance within the household, and to help parents out with kids who have potential mental health related problems relating to technology.

SOLUTION 3: 

Sources for Potential Solutions: Reducing the physical negative effects of technology

This solution is different from the first in that it is not restricting technology at schools, but keeping around the traditional, non-technological activities within education. Modern education is moving towards the digital age, but there are many skills that are still necessary for personal development including reading and writing. This proposal would focus on keeping basic elementary curriculum items around in schools, as basic as learning how to use a pencil, arts and crafts, and use of the white board instead of the computer. As seen in the Parker article below, some students are having a hard time with simple educational tasks as technology is becoming more prevalent, and it is essential that we prevent this trend from continuing. This proposal, like the first, would reduce the technology use at schools as they would need to still make time for these activities, and would still be developing the necessary basic skills. However, this proposal would be a law mandating that SPECIFIC, ESSENTIAL parts of elementary curriculum not be changed, even though technological advances may make learning within this space more convenient as learning with tech in certain areas may not be as effective as learning physically in the classroom, unlike the first which just limits the amount of technolgy used within the classroom.

Works Cited: 

Bhutto, Fatima. “Irresistible by Adam Alter Review – an Entertaining Look at Technology Addiction.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 21 Apr. 2017. Web. 18 Mar 2018. www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/21/irresistible-by-adam-alter-review-technology-addiction.

“Disconnect To Reconnect: Can You Survive A Meal Without Your Phone?” Le Pain Quotidien - Bakery & Communal Table. Le Pain Quotidien. Web. 18 March 2018. www.lepainquotidien.com/editorial/disconnect-to-reconnect-can-you-survive-a-meal-without-your-phone/#.Wq8x3JPwa8V.

Doubek, James. “Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away.” NPR. NPR, 17 Apr. 2016. Web. 18 March 2018. www.npr.org/2016/04/17/474525392/attention-students-put-your-laptops-away.

Ortiz, Adrianne Albarado. “SOUND OF MIND: Negative Effects of Technology in Children.” San Angelo. San Angelo. 19 April 2017.  Web. 11 March 2018. www.gosanangelo.com/story/life/wellness/2017/04/19/sound-mind-negative-effects-technology-children/99872132/.

Parker, Najja. “Children Unable to Properly Hold Pencils Because of Technology, Report Says.” AJC.com. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1 March, 2018. Web. 11 March 2018. https://www.ajc.com/news/world/children-unable-properly-hold-pencils-because-technology-report-says/uDxGPemuYneVEBVw1zUnxN/

Rosenberg, David. “1 In 5 College Students Have Anxiety or Depression. Here's Why.” The Conversation. 14 Mar. 2018. Web. 18 March 2018. theconversation.com/1-in-5-college-students-have-anxiety-or-depression-heres-why-90440.

Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.

Name: John Ferszt, Date: March 30th, 2018

The primary topic coordinator I have been working with throughout the semester is John Ferszt, and he has been very instrumental in helping critique my proposal and very helpful with general advice about MSC. We had our specific meeting on the final draft of the proposal last week. His biggest critiques about the initial direction of my proposal, and potential solutions, were that I should narrow down my potential solutions as they covered a wide scope of issues. We narrowed down my proposal to my second potential solution, the awareness program, and told me that I should still incorporate aspects of my other potential solutions. He additionally told me to use more information from my consultations, saying that they were full of valuable information that could help strengthen the impact of my proposal. 

Name: Michael Fahy, Date: March 28th, 2018

I met with Michael Fahy for the mid-term proposal check meeting. Within our meeting, we discussed the importance of the issue at hand, and how we both have experienced in our own lives how technology is taking over the world. I shared with him my potential solutions, and he told me to look to previous legislature and awareness programs on how to best solve this issue. When doing my consultations, I specifically then asked which ways would be most effective to reach parents and teachers in order to create responsible technology use both in school and at home. Overall, it was a very productive meeting that led me to think of other ways to incorporate my consultations and the discussion of the MSC within my proposal.

Research process:

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.

  1. As I continued to post in the Michigan Student Caucus, I realized that I was more and more frequently posting in the technology boards on the website. In previous classes, I have also noticed that when we discuss technology and how it will impact the future, that I have had very passionate views on the issue. It is so often that I see children playing with iPads instead of picture books, see people constantly distracted by their phones, or cringe at social media posts that children post without parental supervision. Overall, I decided to focus my proposal on technology and how it effects children, as I believe that without legislation regarding responsible use, the consequences could be devistating.
  2. Back in February, I visited office hours to discuss the class in general, including the proposal, service, and the discussion boards. We helped narrow down my service to be at a place focused on education, 826 Michigan, in order to better understand how students in Washtenaw County operate. After the office hours session, I additionally chose to officially make my media artifact about how technology effects children, specifically focusing on the negative connotations that it can have in cognitive development.
  3. For my media artifact, I took to the internet doing immense research on the negative effects of technology on youth. Through this process, I learned about how different aspects of technology can effect children. For example, I narrowed in on how phones themselves can be very addictive and have chemical reactions similar to drugs and how the interconnectivity of social media can lead to depression. I additionally interviewed a local high school student that I knew through mutual friends, gaining affirmation that social media and technology create unecissary distractions and that they have changed the social landscape of high schools in not just Michigan but the United States as well.
  4. For my prospectus, I continued doing online research in order to best summarize the issue at hand. The additional online research resulted from various discussions I had in the Caucus about technology, and were very useful when I was stating the problem.
  5. For my three potential solutions, I used my research in my prospectus and other discussions within the Caucus to best find out how I can solve the problem in three different ways. My second potential solution was very different than the first and third, where it would create a similar awareness to parents, teachers, and students of the cognitive effects of technology that I had learned throughout the Caucus. My other two solutions took into account my research on the effect of technology in education, either eliminating it or making sure that certain aspects of the curriculum did not go away.
  6. In order to gain a wider scope of information about how technology has an impact on students within the classroom, I created a poll discussion thread to discuss Caucus members' own experiences with cell phones at school, leading to more discussion and research.
  7. I also continued becoming more well rounded in the subject through posting on a variety of message boards, not only on ones that focused on the negative effects of technology but the positive possibilities as well. 
  8. With my meeting with Professor Fahy, we specifically focused on how to get the most out of my consultations. Additionally, it was at this time that I contacted John Ferstz to discuss my revised plans for my final proposal.
  9. To begin my consultations, I wanted to get a wide range of views, from pre school teachers to elementary school teachers, and also get the viewpoints of people with a background in psychology and government involvement. 
  10. I then met with Jack Ferszt to narrow down my solutions and best figure out how to incorporate all of my research within my proposal.
  11. When making my final proposal, I incorporated both elements of my consultations, meetings, service, and additional internet sources to come to the final product. I found that all of these sources were useful when coming up with the problem and solutions, and believe that my proposal would be very effective in raising awareness for an issue that I am so passionate about.
  12. I countinued discussions with Professor Fahy, figuring out ways to refine my proposal to best solve the problem. Additionally, I continued to seek one final consultation other than the three required, an expert in developmental psychology who was unable to respond initially due to travel.

 

Author contributions:

Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?

N/A, all work was done by Brandon Oblazney

===FORMAL PROPOSAL===

The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.

WHEREAS.... Given all of the groundbreaking things technology has enabled people to do, there are still some negative setbacks that involve its effects on the mind. Research led by the University of Maryland, across twelve universities, came to a consensus that technology can be very addictive and can have the same effect on the mind chemically as some of the most illegal drugs. "Participants described feeling fidgety and kept reaching for their mobile phones even when they weren't there," says Professor Gerodimos of Borenmouth University.  Additionally technology can have other negative effects on children including worsened attention spans, and can lead to mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, as studies show (NPR, Clinical Psychological Science Journal).

WHEREAS.... There is a general consensus (per studies from Kaspersky Lab, National Cyber Security Alliance, and consultations listed above). that a large amount parents are unaware of their child's online activity and the negative effects of technology, and sometimes even contribute to the problem. The National Cyber Security Alliance study states that 28% of parents are unaware that their child has a social media account that they do not know about. Additionally, Developmental Therapist Constance Young describes many situations where parents contribute to the situation, whether buying their kids video games/ devices at too young an age, are too distracted by technology to assist in their children’s’ cognitive development, and unawarely let their children use social media without understanding the consequences of posting on the internet.

WHEREAS.... Per stopbullying.gov (a government initative to provide parents and schools with anti-bullying resources), many cyberbullying incidents go unreported, and primarily occur through social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Additionally, consensus research shows, as discussed with Dr. Kathleen Jodl, that various social media sites are correlated in unwarrented depression and anxiety. There are many ways for parents to help their children with these issues, including materials on how to detect cyberbullying and its effects, as well as ways to monitor web usage without being to intrusive using a variety of software programs.

WHEREAS.... Technology can debilitate the necessary aspects of learning at a young age, including the necessary sensory interactions with the world that a young person needs to have in order to develop properly. Per a study from the Journal of Effective Disorders, some students are not receiving all aspects of the education necessary for proper cognitive development due to an overuse of technology, in some schools some students even have an abnormal difficulty writing. Another study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine also states that traditional handwriting skills are most important for language development, specifically with letters, within the brain.

WHEREAS.... As discussed with Dr. Jodl, some school districts in wealthier areas already have channels as to communicate responsible technology use at home with parents, but this is not the case for every school district within the state.

WHEREAS.... There are many benefits to technology within the education space that allow students to do the formerly impossible, including online field trips and educational puzzles that promote creative thinking, and there needs to be a balance of technology and traditional learning in the education space. For example, Discovery Education allows students from all ages to experience Shakespear, Museums, and even car factories, in ways that a classroom 20 years ago could not.

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....

1. The state will appoint an advisory board composing of legislators and individuals from various academic institutions (University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State) to create responsible technology use standards that both promotes responsible technology use in the classroom and at home. These standards will be communicated to three categories of people: teachers, parents, and students. The creation of these standards will occur in order to combat the negative cognitive effects of technology, whether it be having children miss out on key cognitive development moments in their early years, or lead to mental disorders such as ADHD or anxiety down the road. This advisory board will reconvene every five years in order to adjust these standards to changes in technology.

2. As Michigan is a diverse state, it is hard to create an overarching law demanding that all schools use the same amount of technology for certain aspects of the classes. Therefore, teachers not be forced to add or take away specific pieces of technology in the classroom, but will be informed of technology benchmarks created by the state at one teacher meeting at the beginning of the year, authorizing them to make their own decisions on how to adapt to the changing technology landscape. Information given at this meeting includes giving teachers information on how to best use technology in the classroom. For example, the standards would say such as those including how taking notes on paper is more effective than on computer as it forces the brain to process the data in a more effective way. 

3. These standards will demand one event a year where the parent is congregated, for example a parent-teacher night or parent orientation, for the school to inform parents about the new standards of responsible technology use, additionally informing them of including how to detect and prevent cyberbullying, how to tell if your child is suffering from mental health issues that could be associated with technology, technology addiction, and how to responsibly use social media. University research will be used to back up and drive the key information and statistics for this program. This will start as early as kindergarten, as it is crucial that parents learn as soon as possible about the effect technology can have on cognitive development, as their children will gain more exposure to it the more the grow up, and have probably already had a large amount of exposure. 

4. Once a year, teachers will be required to have a 1 hour discussion with children in grades 5-7 about responsible technology use. For example, this discussion It is important that the person in charge of this session does not emphasize that technology will ruin the students life, but emphasize that it is important to be responsible with technology in order to get the most benefit out of it.

(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)

Counter-arguments:

What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. Parents will not take the information given at the seminars and be stricter on their kids. Other parents may resist the information, saying that it is intruding on their own parenting styles.

2. Some parents in at-risk schools may not be able to make school parent nights as there are more pertinent family issues to attend to. Additionally, these schools may not have the same technology as higher funded schools both in the classroom and at home.

3. There are limits to the level of compliance, as people may object, ignore, or even resist and protest the creation of these standards.

Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? 

This will be a low cost proposal. The biggest cost will be the creation of the advisory board which will oversee the creation of the standards. Other potential costs will be flyers that are mailed home to parents and given to parents at the meetings, as well as potential access to studies on technology and cognitive development. Many of the ways of informing parents about technology are through channels that already exist, reducing costs there. For example, if the information regarding safe technology use at home is communicated to parents through a school newsletter or parent teacher night, the costs will be minimal as these channels of communication are already established and do not require any extra costs to set up. 

How will you pay for your proposed legislation?, Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from? 

The funding will come from the state education budget, and will require a potential one time to create the advisory board, with additional costs after every five years to potentially bring a new member on. The state will pay the current market rate for a member to be on this board, with total initial costs estimated to be around $50,000 (determined in a discussion with a University of Michigan School of Education Professor). 

Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  

Various interest groups around the state of Michigan would be the biggest people objecting the proposal, as the state is already very tight for money. As this is an awareness program dedicated to helping people understand how to responsibly use technology and create a better classroom through low cost communication channels that already exist, it is the hope that this will convince these groups to bear the small marginal costs for the massive benefits.

References:

These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.

Bhutto, Fatima. “Irresistible by Adam Alter Review – an Entertaining Look at Technology Addiction.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 21 Apr. 2017. Web. 18 Mar 2018. www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/21/irresistible-by-adam-alter-review-technology-addiction.

Carlton, R. (2018, February 15). [Personal Interview]

“Disconnect To Reconnect: Can You Survive A Meal Without Your Phone?” Le Pain Quotidien - Bakery & Communal Table. Le Pain Quotidien. Web. 18 March 2018. www.lepainquotidien.com/editorial/disconnect-to-reconnect-can-you-survive-a-meal-without-your-phone/#.Wq8x3JPwa8V.

Doubek, James. “Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away.” NPR. NPR, 17 Apr. 2016. Web. 18 March 2018. www.npr.org/2016/04/17/474525392/attention-students-put-your-laptops-away.

Jodl, K. (2018, April 18). [Personal Interview]​

Krayscir, J (2018, March 30). [Personal Interview]

Ortiz, Adrianne Albarado. “SOUND OF MIND: Negative Effects of Technology in Children.” San Angelo. San Angelo. 19 April 2017.  Web. 11 March 2018. www.gosanangelo.com/story/life/wellness/2017/04/19/sound-mind-negative-effects-technology-children/99872132/.

Pappas, C. (2018, March 29). [Personal Interview]

Parker, Najja. “Children Unable to Properly Hold Pencils Because of Technology, Report Says.” AJC.com. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1 March, 2018. Web. 11 March 2018. https://www.ajc.com/news/world/children-unable-properly-hold-pencils-because-technology-report-says/uDxGPemuYneVEBVw1zUnxN/

Rosenberg, David. “1 In 5 College Students Have Anxiety or Depression. Here's Why.” The Conversation. 14 Mar. 2018. Web. 18 March 2018. theconversation.com/1-in-5-college-students-have-anxiety-or-depression-heres-why-90440.

Young, C. (2018, March 29). [Personal Interview]

  Additional Links: Report: Children unable to properly hold pencils because of technology https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8235302/Facebook-generation-suffer-information-withdrawal-syndrome.html\ https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/24/teens-online-cellphones-cyberbullying-parents http://www.discoveryeducation.com/Events/virtual-field-trips/explore/by-grade/6-8.cfm https://ajot.aota.org/article.aspx?articleid=1851631 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4274624/ http://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327(17)30763-2/fulltext https://www.stopbullying.gov
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Total votes: 34

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