Do computers, phones in schools help or hurt SWFL students?

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Are computers and phones helping or hurting your kids in school?

That’s the big question just days before class is back in session.

“I believe that everything has its benefits,” said parent Maria Caez.

In this case, Caez would rather limit the screen time her third grade son gets at school.

“He has issues focusing and one of the things that I’ve done in order to help him focus is keep away from technology,” Caez said.

A difficult task when the state of Florida requires 50 percent of the curriculum to encompass digital integration.

Lee County is far exceeding, which is causing concern for Caez, who is worried it leaves room for distraction.

“For the long-haul, every class I don’t think it’s going to benefit him,” Caez said.

College student Baxter Jones, who stressed the importance of management.

“I think if you don’t know how to manage it it can cause distractions,” Jones said. “Sometimes if it’s a boring day, I’ll just watch Netflix.”

Students may not think it hinders their performance, but experts say it lowers their memory recall.

“Students were not paying attention in class,” said Arnold Glass, professor of Psychology at Rutgers University. “They were dividing their attention with electronic devices and our laboratory experiment showed that would impair their exam performance.”

Which is why Caez thinks technology in classrooms is too much for young students to handle.

“That should be part of their first year high school to prepare them for college as a foundation instead of doing it so early,” Caez said.

Middle and high school students are issued Chromebooks at the start of the school year, all of which come with website restrictions to prevent distractions.

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