The technology question

“Public education is enamored of, even mesmerized by, what might be called silicon faith: a myopic focus on high technology as salvation. …The problem with computers isn’t computers–they’re just tools; the problem is that overdependence on them displaces other sources of education, from the arts to nature.”

-Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

By removing nature, art, music, etc. from a child’s daily life, we may churn out more “impressive” youngsters, ready with “drilled” answers, but at what cost?

Computers certainly have their place in our world.  Our home is dependent on them, as my husband’s job could not be done without one.  However, their overuse may displace simpler, better, more real ways of learning.  It’s a hard balance to find in a world so dependent on technology.  There are many incredible things that technology can offer our kids, as illustrated by the many “apps we like” posts on this blog.  Our kids need to be aware of it, know how to safely use it, and know how to best learn all of the incredible things that technology offers them.  We do allow our kids to use the computer and use apps on the iPad, but very rarely do they get to use them until later in the day, after they have had plenty of time to explore the world around them.  Many days in our week are “no-screen” days.  It’s work each week to find the balance that feels right.  I have found that when the kids don’t start out the day using the computer, they usually do not ask to use it all day.  On the days that they do, I don’t mind so much, because I know that they have spent the majority of their time outdoors, in books, or in some form of free play.

I do feel, however, that computers simply cannot give it “all” to our children.  I feel like overdependence on them can actually deny our children a substantial amount of practical knowledge, not to mention a life of beauty and awe that could give them such richness.