Tech, the end all and be all of American life, has revolutionized everything from how we get our meals, shop, learn, and be entertained, and, in the process, we’ve made the providers rich, including the billions spent by schools to be on the cutting edge of teaching. As if screens can replace teachers. As if kids aren’t already glued to their devices, so why stop at the classroom door or at home for so-called virtual instruction?
Meanwhile, The Children’s Hospital Association has found that the number of our 6- to 12-year-olds visiting children’s hospitals for suicidal thoughts or self-harm has more than doubled since 2016, climbing 115%. Teens visiting with suicidal thoughts or self-harm at these hospitals rose 44%.
Writes NBC News’s Tyler Kingkade, “The rise in troubled children is evident around the country.” Adds Olivia Carter, an elementary school counselor: “I don’t think students have nearly enough access to school counselors who can teach those baseline skills of coping and being able to express yourself.”
At the same time, 11 million high schoolers, some 20%, go to a school that doesn’t have enough counselors in the best of times, and yet…
*** Schools spend an estimated $56 billion on ed tech, 36% of it going to K-12 districts and amounting to approximately $400 per student.
*** U.S. households spend $1,200 a year on tech devices.
*** At the end of 2020, Big Tech companies’ combined market value hit $7,511 trillion and continues its upward trend.
And now this from EdWeek Market Brief staff writer Emma Kate Fittes: “A new analysis by the Economist Intelligence Unit released earlier this year finds that closing the digital divide in education can boost a country’s economy. Even simply increasing the speed of broadband for school buildings can lead to gains in a country’s gross national product.”
And that $$$ bottom line is priority #1, putting tech front and center, well-being well behind.
Or at least so it seems to me, Carol