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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Technology can’t teach children or replace instructors

    The highly paid engineers of Google, Yahoo, Apple and Hewlett Packard would send their children to an elite school brimming with the latest technology, iPads and MacBooks at every desk, right? They wouldn’t dare send their children to a place where the Internet wasn’t a button away, right? Wrong.

    Most of these high-tech parents from these famous tech-savvy companies send their children to the Waldorf School of the Peninsula in Silicon Valley, Calif. It’s a school that actually frowns upon the use of technology. It’s an old way of looking at education, where students aren’t bombarded with and baby-sat by technology.

    It’s one thing if children under the age of 10 are asking for an iPhone 4 from Santa Claus this holiday season. It’s a completely different problem when children are using technology as a crutch for learning, disguised as a teaching aide. These gadgets are huge windows to endless possibilities, but there is no need for a child in grade school to use the latest technology.

    It says something if these engineers are sending their children to a school that doesn’t use the latest technology. Schools around the nation don’t need to invest in the latest and greatest technology. The fact that an app on the iPad can teach a child to do simple arithmetic is dumbfounding. According to The New York Times, there are more than 5,400 educational apps alone and nearly 1,000 can be downloaded for free. It’s important to teach children the importance of reading, writing, critical and individual thinking without the help of a iPad app or a Google search bar. Hands-on learning will always trump the colorful, interactive app.

    Alan Eagle, who works in executive communications for Google, sends his daughter to the Waldorf school. He said, “If I worked at Miramax and made good, artsy, rated R movies, I wouldn’t want my kids to see them until they were 17.”

    There truly is a place and time to introduce these great inventions and luxuries, but certainly not at the age of 7. They have to learn for themselves first before we expose them to technology. Technology is supposed to be a helping tool, not a substitute teacher.

    Today it seems more and more like we’re pushing technology down children’s throats. Long rows of flat-screen computers have no place in a grade school. In fact, technology only seems like a distraction when it comes down to things like individual problem solving and critical thinking.

    It’s refreshing to know that there’s an institution that is sticking with old-school methods of hands-on learning. It provides children so much more room to be creative and think for themselves.

    — Rosie de Queljoe is a journalism freshman. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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