There has been talk for a while now about technology and its impact on us. Should it be used in schools? Is it here to stay? There were pros, there were cons, there were those who abstained, but were intrigued…aaaand there were those, like me, who were simply confused. Since forever, evolution was about growth, change and problem-solving. Nothing has ever been invented, only to turn back the time and use last century’s stuff.
When the video tapes were invented certain people didn’t see the purpose…you could go to the movies and see it on the big screen, with popcorn. Who would buy these movies to play on the tiny screens we have in our homes? Well, the TV makers heard that and made the TV bigger, and slimmer, and louder, and added instant movies on it. No, it is not like the movie theatre, and, no, you don’t have the “social” factor anymore. Should we give all TVs back and go to the movies?
When phones went wireless some people found them very amusing and completely obsolete. You are within reach of a phone anywhere, on the street, in your home, in the store, at the office….why carry that huge thing with you? The phone makers heard that, and made the cell small, cute, easy to use, they put your favorite songs on it, your computer, your secretary, and your movies. But they took away the “social” factor, the interaction with other human beings, the “looking in the eye when you say thank you”. Should we throw away all cells and try to find a public phone when our car breaks down in the middle of the highway, in a stormy night? Or maybe we should teach everyone sign language so that people who text because they must, find a more “interactive” way to communicate…
When the computers became “personal” the IT guys thought that it was the end of an era. Computers will become toys and will make it really hard to create anything progressive. The computer makers heard that and made the computers small, fast, and put on them everything you need to simplify your job, help your child learn, educate yourself, build things, express your creativity, create music and film, not to mention the industry computers that would make life impossible for us had anything happen to them. BUT, they took away the “social” factor. Should we discard all computers? I’m sure we can write a letter instead of an email and find a good designer to draw a poster for us, and find a composer to write our music, and so on. But what about our children who would miss exploring all this directly? How many of these people will they have the possibility to meet, and how many of the ones they could meet can actually teach them the tools of the trade?
We miss the “social” factor….but where is the effort to reconnect? Walt Disney said once “If you can dream it, you can do it!”. So should we all stop dreaming now because our dreams have no future? Who decides what dreams are worth dreaming, and which are just a waste of time?
So where are these ideas coming from? For example: are we going to use the iPads in schools? Do you think they will last? Maybe not! Nothing is certain or stabile. It’s called progress; you create something new, and you keep improving on it until other, better, new things that can do much more are invented. But do you want to take that learning curve away from your children? How will they be able to think further? Don’t they need to know what is out there? Who would want to limit them to what’s in front of their nose? Who wants a world without dreamers? And how are these kids expected to dream in color, if the only thing they would be offered is black, white, and the gray in between?
I say the question is not if technology is here to stay, but are we willing to let our kids use it?