School Performance Issues – Table of Contents
Cell phones can disrupt focus
WiFi, Notebooks, Laptops disrupt children attempting to learn
Technology disrupts teachers too!
Buzzing, Beeping and Clicks are distracting and can lead to dopamine addiction
Dopamine Addiction – How it’s triggered
12 Tips to help your child’s school performance
What can you do to help?
Have you ever wondered why it seems that many kids today just can’t concentrate on anything for very long? Your child’s school performance may actually be harmed by the very technology we rely on to help them learn.
Technology, including cell phones, tablets, WiFi, and laptops can affect your child’s brain, affecting their school performance and ability to learn.
The Electromagnetic Radiation from our technology is associated with many symptoms, including difficulty focusing, foggy brains, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, behavior issues and that’s just for starters.
This is rather alarming news when you consider that in most schools technology is a critical part of the learning process. It’s ironic really, that the thing that should be helping them learn, could be having the opposite effect.
Can children’s brains handle all this EMF and still learn?
School Performance Issue #1: CELL PHONES: Two Minutes on a Cell phone Can Disrupt Your Child’s Focus for an Hour
If you are a parent, have you ever asked yourself, “Why can’t my kid Pay Attention in Class?”
It’s not your child’s fault. The good news is, there are things you can do to help.
If it seems like focusing issues and difficulty understanding information have gotten worse over the last decade or two, that’s because they have, for both adults and children.
Much of this is due to our technology – the EMF, Wi-Fi, and radio waves from our phones, cell towers, computers, notebooks, SmartMeters, cell towers, and even our Alexa networks aren’t compatible with the way our bodies are wired, and this affects the way our brains work.
Focusing – the ability to concentrate and stay on task – also frequently classified as ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. As our use of technology has increased, so have focusing issues, not always enough to fall into the ADD category, but certainly enough to cause concern.
Mind-fog and depression – Many children and adults are experiencing noticeable times when it seems like they just can’t seem to think clearly. This shows up in various ways, confusion, feeling rather dumb, dullness, depression, and frustration.
Why does this seem to affect children so greatly?
Children have thinner skulls allowing EMF, radio waves, and Wi-Fi to penetrate more deeply. They are more vulnerable to the ways these forces interrupt their normal brain functioning.
Louise Gittleman, in the book “Zapped”, references studies showing that children have smaller and thinner skulls than adults, allowing them to absorb 200% more radiation than adults! Children’s brains have a higher concentration of fluid and ions and are more affected by these energies. Perhaps you have seen the famous 3-part image showing the penetration of radiation in the brain for three different ages.
If you’re having trouble concentrating and staying on task, just imagine how your kids are feeling!
Two minutes on a Cellphone can have a long-lasting detrimental effect on brainwaves.
As shown here, you can see that the younger the person, the farther the radiation penetrates into the brain. In these studies, the mobile phones were held close to the head. *1
Two-minutes on a cellphone can cause brain wave patterns to stay abnormal for a long period and can affect their mood and ability to learn in the classroom, even if they just took made a quick call during the break. *2
Effects are Cumulative
More alarming yet, is that the effects are cumulative, meaning that all this usage builds up over time, intensifying the issues.
Is it any wonder that there has been a rise in the number of children exhibiting ADD/ADHD behavior, corresponding to the rise in cell phone use and other technology in school-age children.
This hyperactivity shows up as difficulty paying attention to whatever it is that the teacher is presenting, and if a child misses part of a flow of information, they can easily become lost – and lose interest in the lesson.
Where do all these signals come from? In a classroom (and at home) radio signals which produce EMF radiation are not just from a cell phone. They come from the school Wi-Fi, tablets, notebooks, laptops, and all the other electronics we use on a daily basis. This is what allows them to use their notebooks without wired connections.
Effects of EMF
EMF radiation has been shown to disrupt other brain functions other than attention and can produce symptoms that include ringing in the ears, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and irritability.
Plus, If your child uses their phone between classes, on the way to school, or at lunch, they have disrupted their normal brain activities and made their brain hyperactive.
And most importantly, EMF radiation via the WiFi and the devices has been shown, over time, to affect your child’s ability to concentrate, and can have a serious impact on their school performance.
So, why can children play games for hours? Dopamine is another factor involved which we discuss as issue #6.
Penny W, an elementary school teacher for 22 years reports how all this new technology has affected her, fellow teachers, and her students:
“As an Elementary school teacher for over twenty-two years, I always enjoyed the robust energy and zeal exhibited by the children in our school. With the advent of WIfi through-out the building, bolstered by 24 Chrome books in approximately 25 classrooms plus a Smart Board on in each classroom, I began to notice a huge difference.
TECHNOLOGY AFFECTS THE TEACHERS TOO
I noticed that when I stood in front of a Smartboard*, I would feel ill after a few minutes and drained. My thinking was not as clear. Over the lunch table, several other teachers said they had the same reaction. I began going outside on my lunch break and would feel re-vitalized. I knew my reaction was from the EMS radiation. I would arrive at school in the morning with good energy and feel drained after 30 minutes.
*A Smartboard is the electronic version of the chalkboard. The teacher can put images on this board from her laptop instead of hand-writing information.
TECHNOLOGY CAUSES CHILDREN’S BEHAVIOR TO CHANGE
- Children seemed less exuberant, less enthusiastic, as if a lethargy, an apathy had overcome them.
- Behavioral issues were worse.
- Child-like joy and vitality were diminished.
- Focusing issues and the inability to wait for anything were exacerbated.
- It appeared as if something was draining their life force.
I would recommend that children in classrooms are provided with EMF protection as
schools and homes today have extremely high levels of EMF radiation from the Wi-Fi, tablets, and other technology in the classroom and at home – This is not beneficial to anyone’s health or well-being and certainly not for their school performance.
School Performance Issue #6 – Buzzing, Beeps, Clicks are distracting and can even cause Dopamine Addiction
What is dopamine? It’s the feel-good neurotransmitter your brain releases under specific circumstances: being with someone you love, hearing a beautiful piece of music, watching a beautiful sunset, OR hearing the sounds your computer makes if you are playing a game and you score a point, or see a flashing, moving visual.
About Computer Games
The creators of games and technology-based educational learning materials probably didn’t start with the intention of changing the brains of any child (or adult) who uses games for fun or to learn. They would hopefully have been shocked and dismayed that their technology could affect school performance in children and adults.
Neuroscientists explain that the constant flow of sounds, colors, moving images, blips, beeps and other stimulating aspects of video DO have an impact on the brain. In fact, the brain LOVES all this stimulation. When you get a text bleep, your brain produces a squirt of dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitter.
Who doesn’t want more “feel-good” chemicals to be circulating in your brain?
Imagine driving on a country road at 6 in the morning, texting a friend, and wham, the next thing you know, you’ve sideswiped another car. When you look in your rearview mirror you are horrified to see that this car was T-boned by a truck, and now 2 people are dead. You’re not sure it’s your fault. It was a drizzly morning, and maybe the other guy just drifted over to your lane. What the heck happened? You don’t really remember a thing.
Sadly, this is a true story as told by Matt Richtel, in “A Deadly Wandering”, a NY Times Bestseller.
Death by Texting
A youth who was texting his girlfriend swerved into the oncoming lane and caused an accident that killed two rocket scientists on their way to work. Read more in Death by Texting
Richtel researched why the driver, a responsible Mormon boy, was completely unaware of what his car was doing while he glanced at his phone to text his girlfriend on his way to work and discovered the way the brain reacts to all the stimuli we’re giving it.
During the research for the book, Richtel learned about Dr. David Greenfield, director of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction; one of the first places in the world to treat technology addiction as a medical disorder just as serious as drug or alcohol addiction.
Dr. Greenfield’s recent research and clinical work focus on the neurobiology and psychopharmacology of compulsive Internet and technology use, behavioral addiction medicine, and compulsive Smartphone use.
You’ve felt it I’m sure: that undeniable draw to look at your phone. Sometimes it’s almost like a force is drawing you to check if there are any messages, emails, or notifications. After all, how much harm can be in that? Did you know that after checking your email quickly, it takes 15 minutes to get back to focus?
As early as 1998, neuroscientists at the Imperial College School of Medicine in London were observing the brains of 8 male subjects playing a video game. A low level of a chemical would allow the researcher to take a picture of the brain while they played.
Dopamine levels at least doubled (or greater) and the players that performed the best had the highest levels of dopamine.
Dopamine centers are our reward centers causing them to “light up” when we have done something pleasurable, be it eating, take drugs like cocaine, or, in this case, playing a video game. Greenfield equates this with the feedback from devices; a sound or a click, gives a little rush.
If something appears on the screen, and you click it, a tiny reward is triggered. After a while, all your brain wants to do is get more squirts of dopamine, resulting in “Virtual Addiction”.
How does the drive for the “feel good” dopamine Capture Your Child’s attention instead of listening to you or to their teacher?
Your child develops a desire for dopamine – it makes them feel good
Video games with quickly changing images and sounds will trigger a release of dopamine, giving them a sense of pleasure, thus beginning an addiction to constantly changing stimuli
This doesn’t bode well for paying attention when a human teacher is in the front of the room with a chalkboard or even a PowerPoint lecture. How can that compete with the constant rewards online?
The dopamine scenario: Imagine that you are in high school, and you are waiting for a text< from your girlfriend. The buzzing vibration draws your attention to your phone, and your teacher becomes a distant memory.
You’ve lost the flow of the lesson and won’t embarrass yourself by asking a question. You are used to using your Chromebook to click on answers and don’t even hear the teacher give new instructions. Then you’re lost again.
You’d rather get the squirt of dopamine by focusing on any activity that will provide this. You’re happy to play video games online all evening and get less sleep than you should.
Dopamine is calling to you. You want the pleasurable feelings that come with all those technology apps you have. You sure aren’t wondering if any of this is causing issues with your school performance.
It’s easier to limit screen time in the beginning, rather than to take it away later.
Taking phones or tablets away from a child who has already started to wire pleasure with screen time can lead to behavior problems, particularly if they bond early with technology including phones and tablets.
By the time your child is in junior high or high school, they will go to great lengths to have plenty of screen time.
Academic Impacts of Technology Disruptions Like Phones, Tablets, and Chromebooks
- The technology disrupts your child’s attention span, so they miss some of the lesson content
- Then adds a temptation to cheat because they don’t want to fail, embarrassing themselves and their parents
- The temptation to text wins, they look away for just a moment instead of following the teacher – and once focus is lost, they may have missed the entire point of the class – and now they are behind and may not even realize it or are too embarrassed to admit they didn’t hear critical information
12 Tips: Help your Child’s Performance in School and in Life by Reducing the Distractions from Cellphone, Tablet, and Notebook Technologies!
- HACK THE NOTIFICATIONS – Hack the Technology first: either show your child (or have them show you!) how to silence ALL types of notifications at night. Many phones have a night mode. These notifications should also be silenced during school so that the phone will not vibrate when a text or other notification comes in, providing a distraction-free learning space. Sometimes just a few simple changes will enhance school performance and learning.
- Set up TIME BOXES for school work. This idea comes from the book “InDistractable” by Nir Eyal. Instead of a to-do list, he suggests scheduling tasks.
By setting a specific time to do the math, with a reward for completing the “time box,” your child will have a sense of accomplishment simply by working on an assignment. You can add more time boxes as needed. It sets a beginning and end to focusing on a task. If they finish early, have a snack or take a walk as a break to get out of the house (for home-schooled students).
- LIMIT CELL PHONE USE – Cell Phones: For Children Under Six: avoid all use of cell phones. Instead, set specific times when they can use technology. If they can watch Sesame Street on a TV, this is preferable to handing them a tablet. Many experts recommend not allowing a child to have a personal cell phone until they are 16.
- KEEP THE CELL PHONE AWAY FROM THE HEAD: Do NOT let them hold the phone directly up to their heads. If your child has a cell phone, use an EMF protection cell phone pouch and Radiation Free Earbuds This will keep the radiation away from their brains. When using the screen they can put the pouch under the phone to reduce the radiation from the phone (and it keeps the pouch at hand for when the screen activity is over)
- WEAK SIGNALS = HIGHER RADIATION – Do not let them use a cell phone if the signal is weak. Weak signals will increase the power of the signal as it attempts to connect to a new relay antenna. This also applies to use in a car as the constant change from tower to tower while driving causes the phone to use more power as well.
- BEDROOMS – NO CELL PHONE ZONES – Remove mobile phones from all bedrooms at night. Do not let your child use their phone as an alarm clock! Do not let them put it under their pillow. The phone will continue to receive texts and notifications, disrupting the brain, and disrupting sleep. This should not be a negotiable item. You can set the example by keeping your own phones out of your bedroom. Sleep is critical for both the body and the brain to repair and restore itself so you and your children can function well. Everything you do to assure a good night’s sleep goes a long way.
- PROTECT THE PELVIC AREA – If your child is using a tablet or laptop by sitting it on their lap, make sure there is an EMF Radiation protective pad under the device. Radiation will travel from the back of the device (where the battery is located) straight down into their pelvic area.
- NO DISTRACTION HOMEWORK ZONE – If your child is doing homework, they can use their tablet or laptop, but their cellphone can be in another room designated as cell phone parking for the evening.
- BEFORE SCHOOL – NO CELL PHONE USE – Before they start their school work, avoid using the cellphone.
- BLUE BLOCKER GLASSES – Get them blue blocker glasses to use in the evening. The blue light from the screen will keep their brains overactive, making it harder for them to wind down and get a good night of restful sleep. Some phones and tablets have a “night setting” that reduces the blue light, softening the screen.
- THE TWO HOUR RULE – Turn off devices 2 hours before bedtime to allow their brain to calm down and prepare for sleep. (This is true even with blue blocker glasses or night settings. Try it for yourself, and see if you sleep more soundly.
- BE THE EXAMPLE – Be the example of doing these things yourself, hard as it may be. Many families also insist, no screens at the dinner table during dinner. It’s a time to connect without the distraction of technology!
- BONUS TIP – Give your child a BioElectric Shield – The Shield will strengthen and balance their energy, deflect and neutralize the various forms of EMF. If they are sensitive, the Shield can help so they aren’t as affected by other people or kids reducing anxiety and stress. We even make Shields specifically for ADD/ADHD and Autism spectrum to further help with focus and reduce anxiety. Many parents have reported school and learning are much easier and their school performance increases while their frustration levels decrease. If they are too young to safely wear one – you can hang it near their bed at night, and it will protect and rebalance their energy as they sleep and even have some carryover protection during the day.
- Take one of our quizzes for your child and get a personalized recommendation.
- Call me Virginia Brown. I was an occupational therapist working with children and am happy to help you come up with the best plan for your family. 541-535-2214, email [email protected]
*1 At the Neurological Institute in Spain many years ago, Dr. Om P. Ghandi and research partners studied the penetration of EMF radiation in 3 research studies (1996, 2002, and 2004). They concluded that children as well as woman and men with smaller heads and smaller pinnae (the part of the ear just outside the head),
*2 In a study done by Dr. Donald Maisch, the brain scans in children showed that hyperactivity occurs in the brain for an hour or more after only 2 minutes on a cell phone.
Note: Both these studies were done when we were just starting to use cellphones regularly in the early part of this century, imagine that multiplied when you add in cellphones, Wi-Fi, notebooks, cell towers, SmartMeters, and 5G networks.