材料:The Official SAT Study Guide

  题目:The Digital Parent Trap


  In "The Digital Parent Trap", Eliana Dockterman argues that there are benefits to early exposure to technology. Dockterman lays the foundation for her argument by discussing the controversy surrounding the widespread use of technology without clearing stating her own opinion. Once she reveals her position, she builds her case by citing credible experts on the benefits of early technology exposure and debunking the claims of technology detractors.

  Although Dockterman spends more than a third of her article exploring possible reasons why broad technology access may not be in the best interests of children, rhetorical questions and clever wording hint that she is not fully on board with technological dissidents. At the start of paragraph three, she pits moms trying to "protect" their kids from technology against dads encouraging them to "embrace it". This forces the reader to start considering the possible pros and cons of early technology exposure. Even as she describes the longstanding reasons why some oppose excessive technology use, careful word choice suggests that opponents of technology are anachronistic and overly rigid in their thinking. At the beginning of paragraph four, the capital letters in the line "For years, the Parental Adage was simple" are a subtle condemnation of overly simplistic thinking. Again, in paragraph five, the phrase "fundamental aversion" suggests that those with a knee-jerk distaste for technology are guilty of fundamentalism.

  With the reader beginning to question whether fearmongering over youth technology use is unfounded, Dockterman begins citing expert after expert on the benefits of technology on young minds. All of the experts come from well-respected institutions and quote impressive statistics. A professor of anthropology describes how social networking gives kids access to new forms of learning. Researchers at SRI, "a nonprofit research firm", explain that online games increase students' performance on logic tests. Studies referenced by MIT demonstrate that digital learning dramatically increases information retention compared to more traditional methods of learning like reading, listening, and watching demonstrations. Most important of all, technological fluency gives students a competitive advantage in securing lucrative jobs as the STEM fields continue to grow at a rapid pace. All of these benefits form a firm buffer against the unproven concerns of technology opponents.

  Dockterman not only quotes those who oppose technology to make her argument appear more balanced, but she also cleverly uses them to undermine their own cause. Unlike the advocates of technology, the opponents of technology do not cite any statistics nor do they come from comparably impressive backgrounds. This makes the anecdotal testimony of a Waldorf School administrator, for example, pale in comparison with the study conducted by a UC Irvine anthropologist. Even the screen time limits suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics have become outdated because they wrongly presuppose that all screen time is as mind numbing as watching television. On the contrary, actively using a computer or tablet can be "brain-stimulating".

  By first acknowledging why some oppose extensive technology use, Eliana Dockterman sets herself up to effectively tout its social and pedagogical benefits. She concludes her essay with this same nuanced logic she began with by reminding parents that despite technology's many benefits, they are still responsible for monitoring their children's technology time and preventing misuse.

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