Children are coming to school able to use tablets but without the skills to use building blocks, warned a teacher at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference.
The Guardian reports that teacher Colin Kinney believes tablet addiction in children is harming the development of 'manipulation skills', like those used when playing with building blocks.
"Teachers talk of students who come into their classrooms having spent most of the previous night playing computer games and their attention spans are so limited they might as well not be there," said Kinney.
"I've spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks – or pupils who can't socialise with other pupils, but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone."
Teachers gathering in Manchester called for research into the effects of tablet addiction, and for advice on dealing with the issue among students.