So many emotions going through me! The above Washington Post article just brought me to question technology at one point, but after reading it through my thoughts of the importance of technology came flooding in. Having been raised in the DC Metropolitan area, I know about both of the schools discussed in the article. Flint Hill is a school that is very similar to the one I have been working at the past two years. It is also similar to the school I will be working at next year. These schools see the importance of technology in the classroom and in our lives. Waldorf…I don’t know what to say. I understand the need to parents to limit the amount of time their children are on technology, however, wouldn’t it be better to help them regulate it themselves? Taking it away just makes them want it more, and they will end up binging when they can. We should teach them how to make the choice and use their control over how much they use technology. As educators and parents we should not be controlling but educational.
Yes, there are moments that technology should not be used and the hands on, natural, experience is better. As a person who enjoys nature and science I see experience as an important thing. Going out into the woods and observing your surrounding is a wonderful eye opening experience. I also believe that when documenting your experience for research or education technology can be a wonderful aid. In my college psychology lab we had the option of using real lab rats or virtual. I opted for the real rats, however, some classmates of mine chose virtual because of a phobia or allergy. In the end, we all came out of the course with the same knowledge.
I am a strong believer in technology, however, I see the importance of the traditional education approach Waldorf uses. As I read the article I understood where the Waldorf administrators, teachers, and parents were coming from. That is until the author described the students in the classroom. I immediately remembered the power technology and relating to the students has on engagement. Making your lesson engaging to the students is the first and hardest struggle a teacher has in the classroom. Technology helps us with engagement and often helps keep students from dozing off, daydreaming, or passing notes in class.
Technology has the power to improve our education. Why not embrace it? The fact that Nina Auslander-Padgham does not know how to type at the age of 12 is jaw dropping. If your thoughts about technology are wavering, I recommend reading this article and see where you end up.