A number of clinical studies indicate that people hold their smartphones closer to themselves than they would printed materials. The decreased distance increases strain on the focusing and eye coordination systems. Strain on the focusing and eye coordination systems has been shown to adversely affect reading, writing and learning.
Schools often encourage students to use their handheld technology to learn. In students who may already have an undiagnosed focusing and/or eye coordination dysfunction, this emphasis on handheld technology may actually be impeding their learning. Additionally, light emitted from digital devices increases eyestrain regardless of whether the user suffers from focusing and/or eye coordination dysfunction.
The solution is not to ban digital technology. In fact, these technologies can be helpful in many ways. Similar to taking the proper precautions when driving a motor vehicle, taking proactive steps when using digital devices is wise. Use these 3 checks to insure that your child is getting the most out of his/her technology for learning: 1) Check that he/she is using the most current prescription for viewing distance and near materials, 2) Check whether he/she is suffering from undiagnosed focusing and/or eye coordination problems if your child is struggling at school, and 3) Check that he/she is using the proper optical protection when in front of a digital device.
References available upon request.
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