Educational institutions in Africa are being urged to walk carefully on the path to on e-learning because of the harmful and addictive effects of technology.

In her paper entitled “Is mobile learning contributing to technology addiction?” Dr. Marlena Kruger, founder of MindUnique Education told the 2016 E-learning Update conference in South Africa that internet technology is programmed to create addition.

Neuroscientists

“We are in danger of becoming addicted and enslaved by technology because the technology has been designed to enslave us,” she said. “Neuroscientists are employed to create these devices. They are not habit forming by accident; they are designed to be habit forming.

“We are being stimulated all the time and we are becoming addicted. To feed that addiction we need even higher levels of stimulation whether it be gaming, using social media or accessing internet pornography.”

Techno-immersed

Noting that  “We live in a technology-immersed world where many people of all ages, including young children, have their own tablets, mobile phones and smart phones,” said Kruger said it was necessary to employ critical and reflective thinking to find the correct life balance in a ‘techno-immersed’ world.

Another speaker, Robert Branch, Professor of Learning, Design and Technology at the University of Georgia, said likened mobile learning and mobile devices to a drug. “They are addictive. I don’t know about that but trust me, these things are affecting our psyche,” he said.

Psychiatric Case

According to organiser Johannes Cronjé, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the conference “brings together the real movers and shakers in the field.” Presentations cover a wide range of applications, from university, industry and school.

“It’s a psychiatric case in the making,” yet another speaker, Toni Makina who is an education consultant in the Directorate for Curriculum and Learning Development at the University of South Africa.