1. scotwright

    It is really a simple (yet some of us make it complex) issue. They way I grew up was vastly different than how my parents grew up. They way my parents grew up was vastly different than their parents. My kids are growing up in a society that is different from mine as I grew up. This is reality; however, some people don't want to accept reality. But they should!

  2. There is a lot of subtext and underlying assumptions in the questions posed by the author.

    “How do we safely allow technology to be a part of their, and our lives, and still let our children experience childhood?”

    It is interesting how this question is posed as a false dichotomy, as if the 2 positions are mutually exclusive. Our children cannot experience childhood without technology is a blunt, black/white either/or position that ignores the granularity of the issue, which is actually not a single issue but a multitude of issues many of which have nothing to do with technology.

    "Does technology work in unison with children?" As you put so well, being a child has always meant interacting with technology in order to learn how to manipulate and shape our environments. A GI Joe is just as much a technology as is a Wii. Is creating a drawing using crayons any more a creative act than creating a drawing on a tablet? I don't think so, but it is a different act.

    I always liked this Piaget quote, "The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done." In order to achieve this, children have to be able to learn to operate in their environments, not ours. And that is a scary thing for many parents to do because, unless we participate in it, we probably don't understand it.

  3. Put simply, the world is quickly changing from a "have" vs. " have not" to a "know" vs. "know not" environment. Students need to "know".

  4. anonymous

    Technology is great! And at the same time there are many things that can be overstimulating to a child's developing mind. It is hard to find a safe balance. When my some is given "screen time" he becomes defiant and violent. He has also been exposed to something I wish I would have prevented… We have allowed him to use our smart phones to watch bmx videos on YouTube with our supervision. My husband was putting the baby down for his nap when my 6 yr old got on my husbands phone. He likes to use the Mic to search for videos on YouTube and has a slight speach impediment, so when he said bmx videos it thought he said sex videos. My husband came back from putting the baby down, to find our 6 yr old watching sex videos! We now have codes and locks on our phones, but you have to be careful, you can't just let kids use technology without supervision! There is way too many disturbing things easily available.

  5. I think technology is great, but certainly a challenge for parents with young children these days. We use a program called Safe Eyes on our family computer. It does a pretty good job of filtering out most of the offensive material and doesn't even allow certain searches to be run. You can also specifically block out certain sites if you choose. It doesn't resolve all online concerns and problems, but it certainly helps!

  6. Justin Staub, Ed.D.

    My wife and I talk about this a lot. As a teacher I know my three sons (5, 3, & 1) will be connected to technology for most of their lives, 24/7. The balance you refer to is very important. Spending real face time with real people might be so rare in the next generation that one's ability to socialize might be a huge asset.

    I also agree that Will Richardson, who visited my school this spring, is right. Balance in 2012 is different than balance in 1962. But, we need to continually stay focused on our kids. They will tell us what they need. Websites and blog posts will not. The only way you can attend to the needs of people is by being with them. Yes, technology can help bridge that gap, but not all the time.

    We are in unpredicted times. I feel public education is out of balance, in the way Richardson suggests. I also fear what happens if we ignore our better judgement and heedlessly adopt all new technology without concern for our children. As an educational leader, and a father, this is the balance I spend time trying to fix.


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