Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Teachers call for parents to turn off the Wi-Fi
Mr Montgomery was to propose the motion at the ATL conference in Manchester on behalf of the Northern Ireland branch. It states that symptoms of computer addiction include a loss of interest in other activities, lack of control, deception and furtiveness and irritability.
He said: “Children are sitting up all night on them, using games, websites, Facebook and twitter. They are coming into schools and they are not progressing because they are tired and burnt out.
“They are gaining weight, getting repetitive strain injury. We need to look at it and we need guidance.
“I am a technology teacher and I run two websites - I am not saying don’t use this stuff. But medical people need to look at it from the health point of view and how it affects your brain.”
Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ATL, last week urged parents to confiscate tablet computers at bedtime, but acknowledged that because they are so small they are easy to hide.
She said: “You say, “Turn your tablet off now, go to bed” and two hours later you go up and under the duvet they are still playing the computer game.
‘You can be playing on your computer game or on Facebook...for four or five hours rather than sleeping, which does leave you coming into school withdrawn.’
Today’s debate about computer addiction comes after the death in 2012 of London schoolgirl Tallulah Wilson, whose mother said she was involved in a “toxic digital world.”
The 15 year old from West Hampstead jumped in front of a train at St Pancras station, moments after walking out of her dance school at King’s Cross. An inquest heard that the teenager, who had battled severe depression, had posted self-harm images on social networking site Tumblr and visited sites accused of promoting suicide.