Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Robotics to tree forts - the balancing act

Technology is such a mixed bag.  Building a LEGO robot and programming it to do very cool stuff - that's truly fun.  And so is building an awesome tree fort.

I remember as a child, begging to watch the hour of cartoons available on TV on Saturday mornings before I was told to "Go out and play!"  That part lasted the rest of the day.

Finding the balance for our kids today is challenging.  How much computer time is OK?  How can we make sure our kids are getting time outside for exploring?  Both build skills they will need in their futures: intellectual acuity, perseverance, ingenuity, a creative mindset, emotional stamina, flexibility and cooperation.

Teachers struggle with this balance, too.  When should we start teaching keyboarding?  How young is too young for learning through apps?  Here is an interesting article from MindShift about an experiment that shows that pencil and paper note-taking is much more effective for recall and analysis than taking notes on a computer.  The brain processes information in many ways, and we want to get it right!

This summer our faculty is reading Catherine Steiner-Adair's book, The Big Disconnect.  I've heard her speak and she is compelling in her arguments against screen time for both adults and kids.  Our reliance on our phones and iPads  - our literal addiction to our devices - prevents us from connecting on an emotional level with those we love most.

Teachers will be discussing The Big Disconnect this fall and we'll hold some discussions with parents, too.  I hope you will join in the conversation!

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