Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 3.31.43 pmWhile we often tend to think of online gaming and social media and hindering children’ development I was asked by Mashable to respond to a new research report that shows they can actually have a positive effect.  I agree with some aspects of the study.

Gaming can involve a lot of strategising and problem solving. Both are important skills to learn. It’s important however that we also consider the quality of the game and the overall themes it focuses on. For example, both League of Legends and Call of Duty require strategic thinking, the violence in the latter dominates the game.

While the report states that social media has no educational advantage, I don’t agree. Social media offers a wonderful engaging platform for teenagers to develop the blend of contemporary communication skills they need now- communicating well face to face and online. A healthy balance however is always needed in its use.

The research report is a good jumping off point for considering the “positives” that internet use can have on education. “We tend to keep hearing about negatives — hype without the research backing it,” but this helps to start having a more balanced approach to technology and education.

Read the full interview at Online gaming may boost school scores. Social media? Not so much.