Becoming a Slow Tech Family.… I was recently sent a thought provoking article (use the web link below to read the entire piece), in which Janell Burley Hoffman provides some useful, thought provoking advice for parents regarding the use of technology.
“In our world, food, family and free play have a firm place, often touted as sacred and protected ground. And since our life is designed to fully embrace living it, we have to be mindful of all the pieces that might creep in and occupy more than their fair share. Technology is one of those pieces.” (The Slow Tech Movement–by Janell Burley Hoffman, syndicated from huffingtonpost.com, Apr 17, 2015)
Sometimes parents feel the pressure of doing things with the children during a holiday break that involve layers of complexity, some of which may include additional cost. The good news is that you don’t need to do much to happily engage the children if you provide them with the space and scope for imaginative play, beyond a reliance on technological gadgets or wizardry. Make no mistake – I am not a luddite nor someone who doesn’t enjoy spending time surfing You tube for music videos, but there is incredible room for balance.
Prior to the holidays I watched in awe and fascination as our Year 1 and 2 students played happily together, as each found a tyre they could use to roll across the grounds, on the flat and down the hill. The way they organised a “mass roll” required effective levels of communication and in the process they were demonstrating and discovering some quite sophisticated science concepts.
I also observed with great interest, a Year 5 student create what is pictured below. What is it? How was it being used? What elements of science and mathematics were drawn upon to create and use this object? (for the answer as to what the object is check the bottom of this blog – if you haven’t been able to work it out yet).
The recent Christchurch Brick Show provided an opportunity for Lego enthusiasts and collectors to show their designs. Whilst children had the chance to develop their own creations the majority of the sophisticated models were built by adults. The ability and desire to play, craft and construct are not solely domains for children.
So as you can see, there are wonderful ways to stimulate creativity, imagination and fun beyond technology. You don’t however need to become overly draconian and lock technology away. Our students live in a digital world. Perhaps become a Slow Tech family by adhering to the 7 wonderful ideas Hoffman presents in her article.
“Slow Tech parenting isn’t about perfection; it’s about awareness.”
Try out her suggestions and at the same time, be aware that the children can be actively and fully engaged in creating their own fun whilst continuing to learn.
ANSWER : An aircraft