Fw: A report discussing the use of electronic technology in education
- I am forwarding this from another groupCliveSubject: A report discussing the use of electronic technology in educationDear all,
Last Sunday, in the gathering post-lunch, I briefly mentioned a
document called Tech Tonic: Towards a New Literacy of Technology,
which was put together by an organisation called Alliance for
Childhood based in the US. Despite being rooted primarily in research
across north America, and despite being several years old, this report
seems remarkably relevant to our urban-Indian context (a couple of
minor allusions to "terrorists" and "rogue-nations" notwithstanding).
Here is the link for those who are interested in downloading (be
warned that it is a large document, but I particularly recommend
Chapters 2, 5 and 9).
I also attach the Overview chapter and Chapter9 with this email, and
give a few excerpts below - Prajval
...In the past, technology literacy was largely defined as skill in
operating computers. That narrow
approach was misguided from the start. But it is now dangerously outdated....
...Current approaches to technology education, mostly focussing on
training children to use machines, are
...Research has clearly established that children under age 8
"developmentally are unable to
understand the intent of advertisements and, in fact, accept
advertising claims as true."...Brain imaging
studies indicate that regions that govern impulsivity and critical
judgement do not fully mature
and connect to each other until the late teens or even after.
Adolescents may therefore be less
able than adults to resist the psychological manipulation of modern
now spend an estimated $15billion a year on marketing directly to
chidlren aged 12 and younger...
...Children report fewer parental limits on their use of video games
and online surfing than parents do....
..more than 1000 studies "point overwhelmingly to a causal connection
between media violence
and aggressive behaviour in some children." Indeed, many studies
suggest that watching television
itself, regardless of the content, is associated with increased aggression....
...Declare one day a week an electronic entertainment-free
zone....Families that have tested this idea report that
even adolescents can be woven back into the fabric of family life when
electronic distractions are
...A new approach to technology literacy...means re-emphasising
relationships with people and with nature - and curtailing the barrage
of commerical messages aimed at children.....and providing adult
introducing children to the full range of technologies in
developmentally appropriate ways...nurturing
in children and in ourselves, a healthy new skepticism in evaluating
potential technological change....
...It is only through truly imaginative thinking that our children
will be able to devise solutions - both high- and low-tech-
to the global crises they will face...
...a healthy relationship with technology grows out of the context of
a healthy relationship with the world...
...The kind of critical thinking that we call for is by no means
anti-science or anti-technology. On the
contrary, we celebrate the awesome gift of our species' technological
creativity as essential to our children's human inheritance. But we
also wish to reclaim for them the rest of their technological
inheritance: the long history of societies and cultures that
honoured technology as a double-edged sword to be handled with care...
...We will argue in this report that a true understanding of
children's capacities, needs, and vulnerability will lead to a
"slow knowledge" approach to technology education that, in the end,
will be much more powerful and effective
than has been the headlong rush to have third-graders produce
...To base a technology literacy programme on the developmental needs
of children is to recognise
that, in general, there should be a close match between the complexity
of the tools the children use
and their capacity to understand how those tools work. The
consequences of adopting this
approach are significant (and controversial)...
...One of the most thought-provoking issues to explore with students
and adults is the question of
just how neutral our technologies really are. Is a technology really
"only a tool", able to be
turned to good or harmful purposes depending on the skill and
intention of the user? Or do the
particular qualities of the technologies we create change us in ways
we had not intended?...
"I am struck by the fact that the more slowly trees grow at first, the
sounder they are at the core, and I think the
same is true of human beings. We do not wish to see children
precocious, making great strides in their
early years.....producing soft perishable timber, but better if
they expand slowly at first, as if
contending with difficulties, and so are solidified and perfected...."
- Henry David Thoreau
...the fundamental need of children to have strong emotional bonds
with people committed to their well-being is a
principle of human development that applies "anytime up to the age of,
...The younger the learner, the more the need for unmediated exchange
and interaction between teacher and
learner, between learner and learner, and between learner and content.
Filling the child with a clutter of
educational technologies is a wasteful exercise at best, and toxic to
the growth and transformation of the
learner at worst....
I must thank you for this nice document....
As it says...
Children's lives are increasingly filled with screen
time rather than real time with nature, caring
adults, the arts, and hands-on work and play. Yet
only real relationships, not virtual ones, will inspire
and prepare them to protect the Earth and all that
lives on it.
Thats one of the reasons why parents must take over their God given responsibility and guide their children in relationships... Life is all about relationships.
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