At the Waldorf School of the Peninsula in Palo Altos, Calif., students are not allowed the use of technology until eighth grade, and even then only on a limited basis. That is a very interesting fact, and it makes you wonder if that school administration hasn’t got something good going.
The most amazing part, the real kicker, is that 75 percent of the students who attend this school are the children of the most prominent leaders of powerful tech corporations. Now you have to think that these parents may know something we don’t know about the appropriate application of technology and education. They believe that technology stifles a child’s ability to think original thoughts, to create from their own imaginations and to build with their own hands. What they want for their children, heirs to great wealth generated by our extreme dependency on technology, is for them to first and foremost develop a confidence in their own brainpower.
If children learn early that the computer holds all the power and is the “go to” place for all the answers, doesn’t this reinforce the notion that they cannot trust their own ideas? For your grandmother’s generation, the computer was at first intimidating, and for youngsters today, the computer can be very inhibiting, which is a problem of a very different nature.
If children learn early that the computer holds all the power and is the “go to” place for all the answers, doesn’t this reinforce the notion that they cannot trust their own ideas?
The holidays are upon us. Many of us will be shopping for high-tech gifts for our children and other members of our family. We want our children to have every advantage, to possess all those toys and tools the other kids on the block are getting, but technology doesn’t come cheap. We sometimes buy what we really cannot afford with the best of intentions. We do not want our children deprived.
The authors have a combined 75 years of teaching experience in kindergarten, first, second and third grade in area schools. Their book, “Kitchen Table Time: Recipes for Success” can be found at I Love Books in Delmar and The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland.