DOHA: A Qatar Academy Al Wakra (QAW) workshop sent out a clear message that parents must embrace new media technology and consider it as tool for imparting education to children.
QAW’s first workshop titled 'How Technology Impacts Our Children' told a gathering of parents here Tuesday night how online content streamed through new media technology empowers teachers to enhance students' knowledge and spur their development.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), workshop presenter Shaza Ahmed said, "Parents should embrace new age technology for holistic development of their children. It must not be viewed as an invasion of social and cultural values."
In a two-hour presentation held at the Academy, she explained to over 50 parents the benefits, drawbacks and health hazards of using new media content and gadgets like computers, pads, slates and smartphones.
Qatar Academy Wakra Principal Bedriyah Itani told QNA, "We organised this workshop to work with parents and to discuss issues important to them, their children and the school.
Hopefully this improves their awareness on this topic and impacts them in a positive way."
Shaza, who is QAW's Information and Technology teacher, said, "New technology must be used productively. Ipad is not a tool only for entertainment, but education and empowerment."
Unsupervised long hours on the computer could result in health issues for children like Repetitive Stress Injuries, eye fatigue, attention deficit disorder and depression, she said.
Reiterating this Bedriyah said, "Parents and children can gain immensely from these tools which provide information at the click of a button, providing they are used responsibly. Parents should monitor children and allow them access to content that has international standard ratings."
QAW Youth Trainer Abdulmajed Al Hashimi stressed the importance of parents spending quality time with their children.
"Professional and business commitments keep parents away from their children. Parents should balance their busy schedules and engage more with children. Television and maids (khadamas) cannot substitute parents," said Al Hashimi.
Abdullatif Ali Abdulrahman Al Abdulla, a parent who attended the workshop, said such programmes benefit the community.
"I look forward to more such workshops, and I hope many more parents attend to improve their knowledge and understanding on such issues," he said. (QNA)