It would appear folly to deny any means of knowledge, especially concerning an area that will become ever more important in our society and lifestyle. Greater technology in our elementary schools can only be beneficial, but as with every new thing that adds a further dimension to our life we must learn to place it in it’s proper context.
One of the biggest concerns surrounding technology, and computers in particular, is the amount of time we spend on them. Are children losing out on their physical development by spending too much time playing computer games or surfing the Internet? This is an issue for the home, but with regards to school it is essential that children are exposed to technology at an early age. Just as we can pick up languages or music better and faster the younger we are, so too can we master technology. Considering there will be almost no jobs where a basic knowledge of computers is not required, it would be irresponsible of us not to provide the facilities.
My wife is an engineer working in the specialised field of robotics, but despite her and fellow engineers being able to solve problems of a mathematical and logical nature and perform complicated coding procedures, they will be the first people to advise the use of tools. Tools have been developed to save time. Through the invention of dishwashers, washing machines and other appliances we now have more time at home to devote to other activities. The same thing applies to computing; by using the tools we have developed more time, which can be given to further our knowledge and research.
As a further example, my daughter is now five and has been using a computer her entire life; she has been able to install programmes from the age of three, operate a mouse and surf the net, yet none of this has prevented her from learning through traditional means. Some people worry that learning is hindered by a tool that does things for you. This is nonsense, we have control of the tools and our methods of utilising them. Using a computer has not stopped my daughter being able to name all the birds that come to our garden, list the trees and flowers around her and attain the highest reading level in her class.
Technology is a part of who we are now; why would we deny it’s existence to an elementary child? Do we deny our child a lift to school in a car before the age of ten? For the sake of our environment perhaps we should.