Teaching (and learning) with or without computers and digital aids?

There is a continuing debate around the use of computers and other digital aids to facilitate learning. This interesting article by Matt Richtel in the New York Times reports on a school, which has a teaching philosophy focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks. The fact that this school is in Silicon Valley seems paradoxical; parents working at digital giants but sending their children to a non-digital school.

Parts of the debate highlighted in the article are as follows. Some see engagement about human contact and teaching being a human experience. Computers then inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans. Others say children nowadays need digital aids to actually engage and need computer time to compete in the world.

Is one end of the spectrum better than the other? Does one set children up for better functioning and success in the world than the other? An earlier post asserts that what children prepares for success is learning skills such as problem-solving, creativity and imagination. If that is the intent, then there are several ways to go about fulfilling that.

Going back to the article, the school used an activity like knitting to help develop such skills including maths, patterning and coördination.

» Check out my Craft project and find out what I learnt.

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