Sunday, April 03, 2005

Computers and kids part two

A less measured reflection on the same data was written in San Francisco by Andrew Orlowski. Here are excerpts from the article:
"Holding other family characteristics constant, students perform significantly worse if they have computers at home," the authors conclude. By contrast, children with access to 500 books in their homes performed better.

Children are now awash with "facts", but don't know what to do with them.

Schoolchildren are developing a "problem-solving deficit disorder" and losing the ability to analyze. A better way, experts insist, is to encourage creativity. And the best remedy for this is to turn off the computer and stimulate childrens' imaginations.

The value of creativity, imagination and critical thinking over "information" access is self-evident, you'd think. But an alliance of convenience between technology vendors, who want to stuff more unwanted computers into classrooms, lazy governments, for whom IT is a way of appearing "modern" while cutting education budgets, ensures the issue doesn't stay in the headlines for very long.

In the US, programs designed to connect schools to the internet have become a pork barrel for questionable sales tactics from the some of the industry's biggest vendors.

"The pervasive use of advanced technologies and their low cost have reduced hands-on experiences for children, including the simple but overwhelmingly rewarding experience of taking things apart and putting them back together. Without this, technology becomes a mystery, leading to a perspective that might well be called 'magic consciousness'," observe the Alliance for Childhood authors.

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At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When public institutions such as schools compel us to use questionable learning technologies like computers, we can resist.

When we willingly cooperate in our own intellectual derogation, who is responsible then?


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