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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Digital Learning Expanded by Texas Lawmakers Despite Dangers

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. February 8, 2019

The 2019 Texas legislature is rushing headlong into expanding technology in K-12, forcing children into more “personalized learning,” a euphemism for replacing teachers with digital screens. Ignoring volumes of proof that digital learning has lowered academic achievement and created mental and psychological problems, states spend $5 billion each year of taxpayers’ money on technology.

Removing children from the “dangerous influences” of parents and day teachers is a goal of UNESCO, the educational arm of the U.N. founded in 1946. Through computers, children are being brain mapped and their mindsets changed to accept a socialistic One World Order. Extensive data mining of personal student information is being via digital learning, a violation of a student’s Fourth Amendment rights to privacy.

Several technology bills have been filed.

  • HB 199 - provide salary and other expenses for tech support
  • HB 396HB 397 - funding for tech equipment to support inventory software/systems for storing and accessing instructional materials

By far, the most egregious bill is HB 429, authored by conservative Rep. Matt Shaheen, a technology and management consulting executive with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services.

The bill calls for the TEA to conduct a study about the effectiveness of digital learning in public schools. The study must include methods for providing digital learning to K-12 and recommendations regarding partnerships with higher education institutions and other private and public entities. By Sept. 1, 2020, the TEA is to submit a report to the education commissioner and legislative committee with recommendations about how to improve digital learning, along with virtual learning under 30A.

Based upon recommendations, the education commissioner will establish procedures to increase student digital learning and participation in virtual school network and increase public private partnerships with higher education institutions and other private and public entities.

Parents should be highly concerned about this bill which

  • Ignores the volumes of research that prove digital learning has not improved education, but has lowered academic achievement and created psychological issues.

  • Does not consider the negative findings in the analysis of the TEA Math Innovation digital learning program.

  • Does not require a long term study with a control group that has not used digital learning.

  • Asks the TEA to do its own very short term study rather than engage an outside, unbiased party that is not swayed by the biases of TEA, educators, and lawmakers

  • Encourages the TEA to publish its own report to support its goal for digital learning in all grades, K-12.

  • Opens the door to expand digital learning but allows NO option to decrease or even eliminate digital learning.

  • Encourages public private partnerships which are known to be totalitarian in nature with government decided winners and losers.

Children under 10 are especially susceptible to screen addiction. Two hundred peer-reviewed studies have connected screen time to increased ADHD, increased aggression, anxiety, screen addiction, depression, and even psychosis.

The Journal of the American Medical Association study showed students who used several types of digital media several times daily were twice as likely to have ADHD as classmates who were less frequent users.

Tech companies are pushing addictive educational video games into American classrooms that collect lucrative personal data on students. Renowned Dr. Nicholas Kardaras finds that educational video games in the classroom affect the brain exactly like cocaine.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found lower scores on reading and math tests for students with classroom computer access.

Reading expert Maryanne Wolf said that, because students skim materials online with interactive distractions, their reading comprehension has declined, making it difficult for them read the classics.

Education psychologist Jane Healy finds that computerized learning interferes with the development of the child’s motor skills and ability to think logically and distinguish between reality and fantasy. The development of social skills may also be impaired.

This writer has compiled information from numerous studies about the dangerous consequences of digital screens upon children and shared it with many Texas leaders. Will they heed the warnings about screen technologies or be swayed by big money interests?

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