Whatever 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?