Dr Constantina Panourgia and Dr Sarah Hodge from the Department of Psychology, in collaboration with Dr Annita Ventouris from the University of West London carried out a research project during the pandemic and published a paper on teachers’ views on how use of technology affects children and young people’s (CYP) emotions and behaviours in the International Journal Of Educational Research.
During the lockdown the use of technology among CYP was increased raising concerns and questions related to their mental health and wellbeing. Previous research findings on the effects of technology on CYP’s emotions and behaviours are contradictory. Parents/guardians and educators may feel uncertain as to how to integrate technology in CYP’s lives in an effective and healthy way, emphasizing the necessity for consistent and evidence-based guidelines and policies. The researchers, decided to focus and investigate teachers’ perspectives considering their vital role in supporting CYP’s wellbeing and learning. Although there is a lot of evidence on technology use in schools, there is little to no research on how teachers view the use of technology by CYP and how it affects their emotions and behaviours.
The findings of this study showed teachers viewed technology as an important learning and teaching tool, when applied in a balanced way. Teachers also recognised the negative consequences of the ‘digital divide’ (from access related to social economic status) on CYP’s emotions and behaviours. However, they expressed contradictory opinions on issues related to the impact of technology on socialisation/isolation and self-esteem.
The findings of this study can provide insights into how technology can be used effectively in the classroom and for supporting CYP’s mental health and wellbeing; they also indicated training needs for educators and the need for the implementation or modification of relevant practices (e.g. technology training within teacher training) and policies (e.g. addressing the digital divide). It is suggested that future studies should explore the views of teachers working in deprived areas and in Special Educational Needs schools so that the implementation of current policies and practices is reassessed. As well as, parents/guardians and CYP’s perceptions need to be explored to complement teachers’ perceptions and lead to the development of educational practices based on the stakeholders’ experiences.
View the full paper here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666374021000510