We should beware: ICT is dangerous to developing brains

5th June 2009 at 01:00

I am appalled by Sir Jim Rose's proposal that ICT sit alongside literacy, numeracy and personal development at the core of the primary curriculum ("From ABC to ICT", TES Magazine, May 29). Forcing technological tools into the hands of toddlers, via the early years foundation stage, is an act of political violence.

While the UK allows itself to be ruled by political bullying, other countries are taking the trouble to do research. Last week, France announced a ban on mobile phones in primaries, with Rosalyne Bachelot, the health minister, emphasising the danger of brain damage by electromagnetic radiation.

There are three dimensions of danger in ICT: physical, intellectual and psychological. Some public schools have long since dismantled wi-fi, which bathes children in electromagnetic radiation, causing hyperactivity, lack of concentration and long-term neural and physical problems.

Learning is largely a process of absorption and 95 per cent of all mental processes are unconscious. The modus operandi of computers is binary processing, and this may contribute to children becoming more robotic, unable to develop dialectical skills.

Psychologically, when isolated in front of a screen, children are missing out on all the complex social interaction with their peers.

Grethe Hooper Hansen, Retired teacher, Batheaston, Bath.

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