Technology Is for Adults!
Or is it?
Technology is for adults, and children should keep away from screens may sound an absurd story, today, but you’d be wrong. It is just one of the interesting story lines we can expect in beginning of the school year stories, every year, without fail. Another will certainly be about a teacher wielding a paddle somewhere, too. As if that were ever a viable learning option. It’s so sadly awful that it always gains news coverage over so many positive education stories. It’s unfortunate. Get ready, too, for the emotional arguments about doing away with recess, music and art programs, as well as after school activities such as academic and sport clubs. The cry is that there’s not enough time in the day, or not enough funds in the budget. The answer usually is pay to play. It is, again, unfortunate.
Technology is for adults
The perpetuation of the idea that technology in its many forms, solutions, and modern digital tools is solely for adults, and not something for children at all is unfortunate, too. This may sound like the dark side of the moon to some, but there are learning places, today, where screens of any sort, as well as the idea of social media as communications at school, or at home, are deemed to be inappropriate, and even unhealthful for students. While I sort of understand some of the thinking behind these ideas, it does put kids into a position that is simply unrealistically cruel when it comes to a complete learning experience. Students without real world technology and social medial skills can be considered deprived in the long scheme of things. I wonder if one of those beginning-the-year stories in the near future will one day be a class action lawsuit by students who have been deprived of the use of modern tools and solutions while at school.
It is true, that experiential learning can happen in a wonderfully creative way without technology, but the possibilities technology adds, and the connections to the real world, where students will have to live, as well as provide for families of their own, cannot be denied. Students can experience learning in isolation without technology, but technology unleashed connects students to the real world in a more universal way. These are the stories we should hear at the beginning, and throughout the school year, as well as from students whom have graduated from our learning places.
About the Author
Ken Royal is a former educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology teaching experience. He has written at many of the major education publications, including District Administration, TechLearning, and Scholastic Administrator. Presently, Ken is a blogger on all things education and education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is a Promethean storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter.