Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Computers not always answer

Don't get me wrong. I love my computer and am amazed at all it can do. I use it gratefully every day.

But wonderful as electronic media are, they are not for children. They are no replacement for a loving, caring human educating our real, live children. We all know that when someone claims a school experience changed their life, it's a teacher, not the subjects they took, that gets the raves.

The Alliance for Childhood has published what I believe to be the definitive analysis of the subject of computer use and children. Its publication titled "Tech Tonic" is a must-read for parents and educators. It can be accessed at

When the Industrial Revolution came along, we didn't realize there would be a big downside. Same with the automobile. Let's take a lesson. Electronic media are great, equally revolutionary, but there is a big downside that we're going to have to deal with.

Electronic media are very "processed" (compared to real, natural life) and, like junk food, make us want more than is good for us. Virtual reality is junk food for children's growing brains. In addition to that, it keeps children from what they really need—being active in a real world. These are two enormous downsides.

This is not a minor matter. It is a watershed moment. We need to recognize these downsides and deal immediately. Our children's brains and society's future are at stake.

Pamela Plowman-Weston


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