I know I’m a technophobe at heart. I would much rather read a piece of paper than a screen and talk to people face to face than via email. I find it hard to keep up with the pace of change and the way that it seems to be escalating is actually quite scary.
Some parts of it are great. The fact that there is an online community out there, of which this is a tiny part, is a brilliant resource. The way that ideas can be shared instantly across the world is nothing short of amazing. However I do think that there is a downside to all of this.
The first is money. Schools are being divided more than ever by the haves and the have nots. There are schools using itouches to engage children and ever more sophisiticated programmes to enhance their teaching. And then there are the others that are still operating on the single classroom computer and weekly access to a suite or equivalent to deliver the ICT curriculum (no prizes for guessing which camp I’m in). Books were expensive but not as prohibitively so as computers and their software. There is no way that schools like ours can keep up with some schools that I know of. The experiences of children in the two sets of schools will be totally different and I wonder what that will mean for them in the long term. Our children start at a disadvantage already and I fear it will get worse for them despite our best efforts.
And then there are the bigger long term effects and their implications. There is already talk of people’s minds being altered to work in different ways because of technology. The idea that people will not be able to concentrate on one thing for any length of time as our brains become more used to browsing lots of different sites at once is slightly scary.
I read an article today which I thought was fascinating.
Hal Crowther talks about the effects of modern technology on American children and teenagers and the news doesn’t seem to be good.
I wonder where we’re headed. And whether I want to go there!