12 July 2007

Healthy Uses of Technology

I just finished an assignment that was having me write about my goals for a technology class. One of the "preset" goals was using technology and teaching how to use it in a healthy manner. Even though I use "modern" technology, and I actually enjoy using it - it's so easy to just Google something rather than go to the library, find the right reference book, look up the right page in the index, and then find you need a different book...

However, I don't think it's very healthy for children to be completely involved in "modern" technology. Children don't need to be exposed to all that is on the Internet, and they certainly don't need any more time spent on their backsides. (OOH, I have a tangent about this too!) I just can't imagine REQUIRING my middle school students to use technology for much more than optionally using it to research, and typing one or two papers per quarter.

I strongly feel that children should spend time outside, and as I've seen quoted 'round the net, "there aren't any plug ins outside!" AND, sitting outside on the computer or listening to an MP3 player DOES NOT COUNT! Children (and adults for that matter) need to be outside, interacting with nature, building connections between nature and themselves; they need the opportunity to construct their own knowledge, and it has been shown that nature is the perfect place to build all sorts of knowledge (if you want references, read The Last Child In The Woods).

OOH, time for that tangent - One of the "pearls" we learned recently is that children should be assigned ten minutes times their grade level for homework. I could NOT imagine having half an hour of homework as a third grader, or nearly an hour and a half as an eighth grader. I DO believe children should read every day, and that time shouldn't be counted as "homework," but it should be something the child WANTS to do, but that's a whole topic in and of itself. I also believe that children (as stated above) need to play outside. Let their "homework" be play, let children be CHILDREN, not little adults. Oh, one more tangent, and for goodness sakes - STOP TESTING CHILDREN ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!

Argh. I need to go to sleep before I scream!


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