Education, Children and Technology

Post date: 14-Nov-2013 14:31:38

The growing and developing Technology is changing the way we communicate; transforming our society, inducing our cultures to evolve. This is a concern for many parents who wonder how this will affect the fundamental values of education and the academic proficiency of their off springs.

Today's teachers continue to educate students to become responsible human beings, critical thinkers, leaders, philanthropists and humanists. It is increasingly clear that students learn to be actively engaged in the decision making of tomorrow's society. Schools aim to educate students to read, write, acquire math concepts, to develop curiosity, experimental and creative minds, and to develop adaptability to our ever changing society. They do that through a combination of tradition and innovation; this blended learning revolution includes the ever changing landscape of technology.

Technology is new and attractive; it brings the world to each one of us, individually and collectively. It gives us incredible power and freedom without leaving our seat. It may also look overwhelming; one can easily confuse the tool with the purpose. However, despite its attractiveness and stimulating addictiveness, is technology per se the purpose of educating children?

All of us, parents and educators need to be clear with the concept and outcomes of technology and insure that we are not preventing our children to grow and develop the skills and life experience they need to become responsible and accountable adults. Children need real actual life experience to stimulate their emotions and senses, they need to learn from these experiences and memorize the developments and consequences. Children need time to reflect, to digest the vast and rich experiences of their every day activities. They need time to observe, listen, taste, dream and imagine, time for movement and physical interaction, time to enjoy inactivity, time to think.

Our children are called digital natives. Most toddlers are able to manipulate successfully a technical device like a smart phone or tablet. However, should we provide babies with an electronic bottle on their birth bed? And will virtual milk provide the natural substance a baby needs to survive, grow and develop?

Schools and parents have work to do to clarify the use of technology, accessibility of tools and to determine what will serve our children's growth best at their respective stage of development.

Are the Waldorf students' kept away from technology at a young age doing poorly?They catch up quickly with their tech savvy peers and do extremely well. Without going to extreme, schools can continue to implement their philosophy and mission, to develop students' critical and creative minds, their openness and character, using appropriately the amazing opportunity of connections and learning without borders offered by the technology.

The concept and meaning of school may evolve, the structure of schools as we know them may change, the core of the education purpose and outcome will remain the same: providing young minds with the tools and content to become engaged and free spirited individual, capable of making their own choices, and, of living the life they chose in a safe, respectful and unprejudiced environment.