Technology advances at an ever increasing rate and schools are rushing along to catch up, but is it worth their struggle? This article from The Washington Post compares the school day of two girls called Nina – one in a school that has totally embraced technology and one that has shunned it. Although time will tell, the article suggests that a total technology immersion may not be the best way to educate children. South Korea adopted the technological approach and are now rethinking it due to worries that children are not experiencing enough of the world first-hand. They have found that one in twelve students aged 5-9 are addicted to the internet, getting anxious or depressed without access.
Although there is a lot of research to suggest that technology and mobile apps can really improve the learning of facts (and the article sites some of this research), child development experts are noticing that children are developing shorter attention spans, coming up with fewer ideas on their own (well, all the answers are only one Google search away!) and becoming less proficient in abilities that aren’t needed to use computers such as spelling and handwriting.
Michael Rich, director of the Center on Child Health at Harvard University says, “We have to stop and think if we are embracing technology just because it is there and new or if it is the best tool for what we want to accomplish.”