SPECIAL REPORT: Is Technology Making Your Kids Lazy?

SPECIAL REPORT: Is Technology Making Your Kids Lazy?

TYLER (KYTX) - Technology has become a vital part of our society. Whether you are watching television, making a call or using the Internet. We use technology everyday, but what effect is it having on us. And more specifically, what effect is it having on our children, is it making them lazy?

We've all probably heard the phrase..."well back in my day, things were this way or that."  Today things are  different.Technology is all around us. Some people say, technology is making us less social, it's stifling education and is in fact making our kids lazy, but depending on who you ask exactly how technology is affecting our children is different.

Turning on a machine and clicking buttons Is the norm for kids nowadays.
 "I like the ipad, and I love he wii, it's probably my favorite thing," said 12-year-old Annie Thompson.  
She said she can spend a lot of time playing in a digital world. 

Playtime for her is different than her dad Rex Thompson's experiences as a boy.

"I had friends in the neighborhood with bikes and we rode around and we played in the woods, we built forts and we played baseball," Mr. Thompson said.

He grew up in the 70's and early 80's. 

"Drinking from a water hose and I survived," he said.

Mr. Thompson has three children, ranging from a college junior, high school senior and a 7th grader.

He says it's interesting to see how much things have changed.

"We didn't have the technology they have, technology surrounds these kids," he said.

He went on to say, it's a continuing job as a parent to let his children embrace  technology, but to not let it completely take over.

When asked if technology is making his children lazy he said. "I want to say that my children a perfect in every sense of the way..."I think as a general idea in our society the general answer is yes."  

While, there's no concrete answer on the impact technology has had on kids being lazy, over the years as the use of computers and tablets increases, so has children's weight.
The center for disease control reports, in the past 30 years,childhood obesity rates have more than doubled and adolescent obesity rates have tripled.  On the flip side of things the united states department of education research shows graduation rates are the highest they've been in 30 years.  
"We have a bunch of overweight, educated kids running around," Mr. Thompson said.

Many would agree, technology has taken a hold of the youth and it's not letting go...but Moore middle school 7th grade math teacher Philip Pace says, that's actually a good thing when it comes to school.  

He says technology isn't making children lazy in the classroom.

Back in his day, 15 years ago, Technology was a bit different but still exciting.

"They would bring in a TV and VCR on a rolly cart so we could watch a video clip of something and that was a big deal for us because that didn't happen very often," Pace said.

In his four years of teaching he says the old school way of simply lecturing doesn't work for everyone.

"Get our kids on board with what we're doing get, them interested in what's going on .a lot of the technology really lets us do that," he said.

Pace makes things interesting, by incorporating technology into learning, either by showing a quick you tube video or even giving his students hand held clickers to answer questions.  

"It makes the learning more dynamic, instead of just the static, oh we're gonna do steps a -c and the bell is gonna ring," said Pace

He said constant access to technology broadens a child's access to learning resources.

"By no means do I think are we making kids lazy, we are making them more adaptable to the challenges that they are going to face as adults and they get jobs that don't exist now."  

Annie is one of his students and loves his teaching approach.

"He's really an exciting teacher, we do a lot of fun stuff and he's really exciting to be around," she said.

Her dad agrees, that if left un-controlled at home, technology could cause problems.But for educational purposes, he's content with how things are.

"From an educational standpoint, the technology these kids enjoy is just phenomenal."

When it comes to obesity, research from first lady Michelle Obama's let's move campaign shows that with media, entertainment and computer learning, children spend about 7 hours of day just sitting. It says a way to change that is to encourage children to get up and move. They may just like it. 

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