As I sit here with my laptop, iPad, iPhone, iPod, flat screen TV, Kindle, Nook (yes, we have BOTH) and video game console I can’t help but wonder how much technology is TOO much??? Today we had some visitors at the school I work at. I took them on a tour and when they saw the 2nd grade room their comment was, “It is so nice that their essays are written.” By second grade many schools already have students typing their essays. Is this going too far?
When my 10-year-old has a friend spend the night and I wake up in the morning to find they have sent text messages (via the friend’s cellphone) all morning – Is this going too far?
When two children interact more through their connected video games than in conversation, is this going too far?
When students text message each other in class instead of passing old-fashioned notes (which were easier or a teacher to catch) is this going too far?
How far is too far? Not long ago I read about an elementary school in the silicon valley that has done away with technological integration, in favor of providing a more traditional foundation to their children’s education. They want to wait to introduce their students to technology when they are older. Is this school innovative in their refusal to follow the technology trend, or are they denying their students the education critical to function in our ever-developing technological world?
My ten-year-old wants a cellphone. She does not want one because she needs one, but because she thinks it is a cool toy. If she does not need a phone for safety reasons, can I truly justify the purchase? With the health concerns regarding young people talking on cellphones and developing certain forms of cancer, why would I want my child to have a phone that serves no purpose other than to entertain her? What happened to friends, books, and walks on a beautiful day?
I am all in favor of technology (as illustrated by our massive family collection of technological gadgets), but I also see the need for moderation. My girls are interacting, reading, playing – they can do this because they are not distracted by too much technology. I worry that future generations may begin to lack social skills as a result of hiding behind technology, rather than learning how to form relationships.
As far as I am concerned, my 10-year-old does not need a cellphone until she is at least 20 – maybe 21!