Because we live in a world that relies on technology, parents feel they have to provide their children electronic devices for their education. Well, you can stop feeling this way. Ironically, parents who are wealthy are more likely to limit their children of these devices, opting instead for old-fashioned building blocks and outdoor activities.
This was recently confirmed by the New York Times article, Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good.
Finally, people are starting to understand what I understood long ago: although there isn’t one best way of learning something, doing is always better than only seeing or hearing. When a child can be fully engaged in an activity, he or she will learn more than others who are merely in front of a flat screen.
The application programs on these electronic devices offer rudimentary busywork because the creators aren’t usually experienced educators but computer coders and marketers. In addition, the medium limits them to a small stationary and rectangular monitor. There might be many clicks from the mouse but few coming from the mind.
In contrast, in face-to-face open learning environments, everything is at play and at the teacher’s disposal. Unfortunately, this experience cannot be mass produced. Skilled teachers are a must. Low students-to-teacher ratios are a luxury rarely available in public schools and thus rarely available to the general population.
Therefore, I find most of our educational system unacceptable. More spending and resources must be allocated for our children instead of other community projects. For example, I know of one city that funds its tennis courts to try to attract tourist dollars, yet its teachers don’t even have the most basic classroom supplies such as pencils and paper. Talk about wrong priorities.
Of course I’m not advocating going back in time and eliminating electronic devices. They are great for mundane tasks and entertainment purposes. What I am saying is that technology should complement and assist in our kids’ education, not cheapen their education by teaching them only crude two-dimensional lessons in the hopes they will be ready for a complex and competitive three-dimensional world.