...and I am not a digital girl!
I'm back on the Technological Progression bandwagon I'm afraid. More kicking and screaming and going rigid and refusing to be strapped into the car seat of digital technology.
I am, this time, fretting about a picture I saw in my local newspaper which showed a class of Junior Infants (that's five-year-olds), proudly writing their letters on their brand new iPads. I saw the picture and didn't think, "Wow, that's amazing. How forward-thinking." I thought, "Oh my god, that's awful." It was as jarring as looking at a picture of a three-year-old beauty pageant. "Whatever happened to the good old days of copy books and a pencil?" I remonstrated to my husband (as I pulled down the blackout blinds, darned my socks and listened to Gracie Fields on the radio).
I know I sound massively old-fashioned and I probably know that it is inevitable that our children will be taught interactively. I also know that it's good for the trees, but I am still more than a bit uncomfortable at the thought of my children having their first school experience, and learning how to write and read (and draw quite probably) on an iPad. Can't we hold off until they're a bit older? Like, eighteen?
As a family who have held off on the Wii and the DS (and our children are under the age of six so I don’t think that’s a particularly radical decision), I just feel afraid that our children will know nothing other than to stare at a screen for every aspect of their life. They will read ebooks, play interactive sports on the TV, Skype their nana, waste countless years of their lives with some Angry Birds. Maybe I was naively hoping that school would be the final, digital frontier.
Looks like I was wrong.
What do you think? Are iPads in the classroom an excellent idea or just an unavoidable sign of the times you'd rather live without?