The Guardian is reporting on Steiner schools which are based on how young children naturally learn and don’t allow use of technology in their schools.
Critics suggest that in not allowing children to use screens as part of its ideology Steiner schools are putting them at a disadvantage. “The needs of our young people are that when they leave school, they become part of a world that is highly likely to include technology,” says Mark Chambers, the chief executive of NAACE, a professional association for those concerned with advancing education using technology. “We should be doing all we can to help them be prepared for that world, just as we would for the physical world that is around them.”
David Andrews, who was a primary teacher in Hull for 10 years, now runs a website on how to use technology to support learning in the classroom. “In some schools, technology is used poorly and it can have a damaging impact on education,” he says. But when used creatively, “technology can engage the children because of their experience of what they are doing at home, where they may be watching television or gaming”.
A Cambridge University study found that spending an extra hour a day of TV, internet or gaming time in year 10 saw a fall in GCSE results equivalent to two grades overall. Its co-author, Esther van Sluijs, says reducing screen time could have important benefits and adds that “limiting the amount of time spent in front of screens and introducing children to a variety of activities is likely to have the most beneficial long-term impacts on a child’s health”.
Andreas Schleicher, head of education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said recently: “The reality is that technology is doing more harm than good in our schools today.” A report by the OECD in 2015 found that countries that had invested heavily in technology had shown no signs of improvement in reading, maths or science.
What do you think about the use of technology in schools and at home, is it having a detrimental effect? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on twitter.
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