Deciding when to introduce your child to technology such as computers, smart phones, and tablets is a question that is getting asked earlier and earlier. The technology decision is bleeding out into our education choices as well. Choosing a style that fits your family is not as difficult as it may seem. The Sacramento area offers a wide variety of schools that fall on all parts of the technology-use spectrum. A phone call to your neighborhood schools may help you decide. Here are two basic philosophies explored:
The Waldorf Method.
Sacramento has a public Waldorf inspired school, Alice Birney, and private schools, Camellia Waldorf and Sacramento Waldorf. The Waldorf philosophy is pretty clear on not introducing young children to technology. Generally, they recommend delaying the use of technology until children are older, usually high school or junior high.
The belief is that technology can interfere with the child’s ability to listen, concentrate, and connect. Also, some parents believe that technology has been made so user-friendly that the learning curve is short and children’s delayed exposure does not put them at a disadvantage.
Sooner is better.
Many local private and public K-8 schools have access to computer labs or iPad mobile stations, or computers in the classroom as early as kindergarten. While the exposure is limited in the early grades, the belief is that by not giving children access to all available means of learning you are doing them a disservice. Technology is an ingrained part of our lives and the sooner children understand how to use it, and use it properly, they will have an advantage.