The Current

Toronto teacher blames smartphones for her badly-behaved students

Last week, Sherry Turkle was on the program to talk about the isolating side-effects of communications technology that leaves so many uncommunicative. After our discussion, we heard from a teacher who saw in her students all the warning signs in her students. She shares her concerns.
A Toronto Grade 3 teacher says her students are the worst-behaved class she's ever had because of the negative influence growing up surrounded by smartphones and tablets (Brad Flickinger/Flickr cc)

Last week as part of our season-long project Ripple Effect, we spoke with MIT social scientist Sherry Turkle about her research. She argues that as smartphones and tablets become more and more ubiquitous in our society, people — and especially young people  — are having difficulty forming emotional connections with one another. 

Many of today's students have grown up surrounded by this technology, and some of them may even use it as part of their school curriculum...but all of that may be having unintended consequences for their emotional development. 

'Sharon' a Toronto teacher says she's noticed her students don't bond with people, they don't act as though there's any connection with anyone. (Brad Flickinger/Flickr cc)

A lot of teachers are noticing these changes in their students, and to talk more about that we were joined by a Toronto Grade 3 teacher who teaches at a public school in an affluent part of the city. 

She asked us not to use her real name because some parents may not like what she has to say about their kids and that could jeopardize her job.

For the purpose of this interview she's going by the assumed name of Sharon
 

This segment was produced by The Current's Julian Uzielli.

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