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Technology in the classroom

Posted by School Run Mum on 29/03/2011. Tags: School Run Mum

text re imageWhatever happened to the good old days of copy books and a pencil? Gone, you cry, gone, gone, gone.

I am possibly going to sound like a complete luddite now, but I am referring to the fact that I am a little bit at odds with the introduction of brand, spanking new technology into our children’s classrooms. Well, that’s not quite true. I’m not at odds with all technology; I think the use of the interactive whiteboards is completely valid and extremely helpful. We live in a digital age after all.

However, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with the idea of iPads being used in the classroom. In a Junior Infants classroom? But this, it would seem, is the way things are progressing with at least one new primary school that I am aware of introducing their Junior Infant class to the iPad and practising their letter formation on them. I am sure there are many more.

Yes, it’s excellent for a school to be at the forefront of technology and to be able to offer that to their students, but five year olds? Really? Would they be any worse off if this was held back until, I don’t know, First Class?

As a family who have held off on the Wii and the DS (and our children are under the age of six so I don’t think that’s a particularly radical decision), I just don’t know if I would be happy with my child learning to write on an iPad. I’m sure there are many reasons why this is beneficial – not least in the amount of paper being saved, but I can’t help feeling that there is something fundamental about learning to write with a pencil and a piece of paper  – in the first instance – before progressing to other technology?

I really don’t know.  Help!



(05-09-2012 17:34)

Prof Olle Johansson wrote a recent article about learning by this new format ie technology. He said Researchers, including Norway, have found that one learns letters more effectively by using hand-writing. The brain receives feedback from motor skills when writing by hand. The letters also provide an impression in the
motor memory in the brain's speech center. Studies also show clearly that children who have learned to write by hand, remember the letters much better than those who just have to use the keyboard.
He goes onto warn about other dangers such as wireless technologies, such as WiFi and high damaging radiation levels emitted from the devices.
I actually got very ill from WiFi and living too close to antenna and am now sensitised to it and other sources. This can happen to us all I am not "special". We had a survey done on the house and found that our wireless game controllers were giving lethal readings. So we got rid of our Wii, my children are 8, 5, 3. and got wired game controllers for the PS3. We made a lot of other changes. I am now meeting growing numbers of people affected by the same technologies. It's quite scary that no one is warning us about this. There should be warning labels. I get very sad when I hear another school has put distributed ipads or installed WiFi. I just hope word gets out soon. The Safe Schools Report 2012 is an eye opener. Every school should have this.
Trust your instincts folks. Kids really don't need this technology for a number of very good reasons. We are far too reliant on this stuff, it changed me adversely forever.


(02-04-2011 14:59)

I am still most grateful to the nuns who took the time to teach printing and cursive in my early years. In the present day of nearly 8 billion of us, I still fully realize the value of the written word with pen on paper. I am not here for volume. I am here to do the next right thing in front of me. If there is someone in the the public realm who is in contact with the populace and I wish to communicate to them by email, what are the chances of them reading my treatise? slim or none And if I write a sloppy copy, edit it, rewrite it on onion skin with a fountain pen and mail it, what then? Thanks to Sister Reginald, I have experienced the knowledge that IT WILL BE READ. I like that. My recipients reading of my letter validates my thoughts, my views, my effort, and I know I have not wasted my time.

Caroline Dunne

(30-03-2011 08:45)

I think its a great idea to introduce children to all types of technology as early as possible. Its the way of the world today. everything seems to be computerised. My 5 year old is more than adequate on a laptop and using the internet for games etc; Shes the best in the house on the Wii but is out playing in the fields at the first sign of good weather. My eldest is 20 and computers are a life saver for college. Also for a child beginning to write the ipad is great because tracing out the letters with your finger tip is a good way of starting writing skills. My children will be moving into a brand new school building in the next few weeks and I would be thrilled if it has the best of technology in it.

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