Should We Unplug Our Kids?

I've heard some disturbing things over the past 20+ years in education. Seen some pretty disturbing things too! But one of the most disturbing is the pushing of technology on our kids. It seems that every school district is pushing iPads, Chrome Books, or some other device into the hands of  every student. What is more shocking is that (pleasantly so), after the new wears off, students are asking for books and pencil and paper. I recently talked to a parent that was new to the area and not at all happy about the education their children were receiving. Too much technology. Too much playing around. Too much fluff. Not enough learning.

So why the push if students, parents, and several educators are voicing concerns? I think it all comes back to the all mighty dollar and the ill advice from those in the non-education realm. People who will benefit from the purchase of several thousand dollars worth of technology. People who don't know your child. People who are only looking at what is in it for them.

Who pays for these devices? We do. The taxpayers. Parents if one is damaged or lost. So... the ones that are saying they don't want them are the ones paying for them?  Interesting.  Tax dollars are also being spent on adding additional tech support to school districts. These salaries could pay for additional teachers to reduce class size, but they are not. They are being used to hire more people that believe that a valid educational experience only occurs when a child's hands are on a computer (and yes, I have been told that by a tech person).

Can you tell that this makes me angry?  I hear the same complaints over and over and yet more technology is being added. Parents are concerned that their child is not spelling as well as they should be or they are not learning how to write.  Parents and most educators understand that this is the age of technology, but we also understand that students need to have a diverse set of skills that will help them function in the 'real world' and problem solve. We want our children to grow up, not only knowing how to use a computer, but we also want them to have a deeper understanding of the world around them. They can't achieve this sitting in front of a screen.

So, challenge your students to unplug and challenge yourself to create engaging lessons that don't involve technology. Get them to use the computer located between their two ears. Move them into situations where they are called on to use social skills and manners. Present them with problems that need solutions.

Creating a lifelong learner doesn't have to be centered entirely around technology. It can use technology as a support, but students need skills so that they will rely on themselves first.

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Seven Spooky Stories

Great for elementary... a collection of seven original spooky stories and printables to reinforce reading skills. Click here and watch the gif!

          One of my all time favorites... The Legend of Sleepy Hollow! Just in time to scare some middle schoolers!!

Here's another gif to watch! American Holidays- non-fiction passages and printables to teach your students the reasons why we celebrate special days and the history behind these holidays. 

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