Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Children of Nature or of Technology?

As teachers, parents, and members of the community, we stand divided. Shared opinions from both sides of the divide some from all three groups of people, but the question is, who is right? Who knows best? Who knows if technology should be an integral part of early childhood curriculum to best prepare our children for the iPad, cell phone, computer consumed world that is now our reality?

Across numerous ideals and philosophies of early childhood education, it is believed that the young child learns best through natural materials and sensory experiences. And here is where the view of early childhood philosophy begins to crack. Many people now have the perception that without integrating technology into the classrooms of our pre-schoolers, we are not adequatly preparing them for the world that they live in. This view sees natural experience surrounded currriculum to be an approach that gives our children irrelevant experiences.

But is this true? Does an environment in which children are thriving with their literacy and social skills, not give them the skills that will prepare them to learn the technology later? Perhaps putting technology as a core part of early childhood curriculum will force our children to have a scewed understanding of the natural world. It could make them believe that it is impossible to achieve tasks without technology. Is this the type of dependency that we want our children to struggle with?

Here is a clip from YouTube that will show you how one very young child has already lost her ability to understand that natural world and differentiate from reality and technology. We need to be teaching our children how to problem solve in a vafriety of ways, apart from forcing upon them a technology dependency.