In a world dominated by technology that is constantly improving, the earlier a young person can get familiar – or, more importantly, comfortable – with the world around him, the easier it will be for him to make connections in the years ahead.
There is a lot of concern about encouraging the use of technology due to some of the non-academic “educational” items available on the Internet, “stalking” in online chat rooms, etc., and there is no reason to condemn parents/guardians for being concerned.
However, it is important to keep in mind that if schools are guiding the lesson plan, students won’t be learning about those types of things in the library or computer lab. Instead, they will be finding out more about how to communicate with others through email; where to find important information that will help them with assignments, class projects, etc.; where they can gather facts about things they are interested in that can start them on the path toward a productive career; and much more. Plus, there are SMARTBoards available for use by students and teachers an item that could be used one day to make an important presentation in college or at a Fortune 500 company.
We live in the Information Age and things are done at a faster pace. Why not help students get used to that pace while they are still young? Why not help them learn how to get information quickly and show them where they can get it? While those things are happening, the students become more familiar with equipment and programs they will be using the rest of their lives.
Through the use of technology, educators can show the students what is available to them at certain sites on the Information Superhighway. They can introduce them to how interesting and exciting computers can be, while the students learn without even realizing it.
Then it is up to parents/guardians to keep an eye on computers use at home and monitor what sites are being visited. If young people are going to find out about aspects of technology that can be harmful to them or have other negative effects, they will not learn those things from what they are taught in elementary school. That happens after the bell rings.
Accountability is a problem in many areas of today’s society. If adults learn to hold young people accountable early on, then perhaps they can use technology to communicate with their son/daughter on the road of life instead of using it to find out where the child is all the time.
A greater use of technology in elementary school can better prepare young people for something they will be surrounded by every day. At last check, that is what such schools are designed for to help students learn about what the world around them has to offer.