MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/04/2012 ( 34 moms have responded )
As you consider whether to arm your child with a laptop computer or iPad this Christmas, consider also which battle line to stand behind, as the fighting grows over the increasing reliance on digital devices in the classroom.
Grad schools, colleges, and even grade schools are relying more and more on Apple iPads and laptops for instruction -- and increasingly handing out computers for students to use.
Learning should be interactive, of course -- but should it be digital?
That’s a question the Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, Calif., answered recently, deciding to give iPads to every student for use in the classroom.
Several other grade schools and universities, such as the Stanford University School of Medicine, are also giving out iPads and laptops to every student. Some schools districts, such as the one in Fergus Falls, Minn., are experimenting with classes where students only tap in from home over the Internet.
Many parents are worried if all of this screen time is healthy, however. They’re concerned about possible negative side-effects of kids using computers all day at school, and fear issues with blurred vision when students get older -- or back problems from leaning over an iPad all day long.
While I strongly believe computers are a wonderful tool. I also strongly believe they have their place. I, for one, do not believe they should be in a classroom, for each indiviual child to use. There is still a very important part of knowing how to use a pen and paper.
Ability to use a computer all day, means less likely to learn how to correctly spell, since there is spell checker. It is less likely to learn penmanship, why would they need to, when they can type all day. They are less likely to give their undivided attention to the courseware being taught, since there are so many other distractions, while being on a computer.
It is also very tramautizing to your body. Incorrect posture all day, will definitely cause problems with the back, the wrists and neck. The eyes are constantly being strained. I know, where I work on a computer all day long, that when I do get up, it takes me a second to get my eyes to refocus. I constantly have to get up and move around. Would they allow that in class, every 30mins or so?
However, it is an essential piece of technology and deifinetly has value. I just believe they should be used in a computer lab or at home for big projects. I know I still make my daughter use a pen and paper at times. Other times, I will allow her to use the computer. All her drafts must be done freehand, her "good" copies may be typed up.
I never had a computer growing up. I actually had to go to the library to do any research. I really enjoyed it. It was an experience. Now, all they have to do is sit in front of a screen and search the topic. Which, can be scary at times too, god knows what is going to come up depending on how they worded their search or if it is going to be accurate information.
My daughter does use a computer for a lot of her homework and they do get lab time at school (in a computer lab). So far, they only have one computer in the classroom, which is used for when they present their projects. I think this is the correct approach.
What do you think? Should computers be the way, the "only" way and be allowed for each child in the classroom? Or should they be given a specific amount of time in a lab to work on their projects?