Friday, April 04, 2008

Would you let your child(ren) spend as much time on the computer as you spend on it?

This was a twitterpoll sent out this morning by Brian Grenier, and my initial response was as follows:
Gr8 question-this is my point to teachers who want to block/limit student access during the school day
To which Brian replied,
I'm missing the point, can you elaborate?
To which I replied,
ahh, the limitations of 140 characters...I'll elaborate on my blog or some other public space and send to you
Twitter can definitely be a source of confusion when getting involved in back and forth discussions. Many times we lose the meaning in emails, which aren't bound by a 140 character restriction. So twitter can definitely be problemmatic in discussions.

I'll attempt to clarify my thinking (I can't promise that I'll do a very good job of it here either!!)

Brian's initial question in twitter, "Would you let your child(ren) spend as much time on the computer as you spend on it?" simply triggered something that I've been thinking for quite some time now.

Imagine if adults were forced to work with mostly analogue tools and limited access to digital tools during the work day much like students are required to do during their work day. Now imagine those adults going home and having better access to digital resources and connectivity to digital resources than they do during the work day (much like many of our students).

Why don't students have connectivity during the school day? Why should they mostly be limited to analogue tools with occasional computer lab access? Imagine if adults were forced to work with analogue tools all day with periodic access to digital resources in some centralized computer lab environment in their work place.

Anyway, this is somewhat tangential to Brian's original question, and my analogy might be somewhat flawed, but I believe students should have solid access to digital resources in the 21st century just like they had solid access to anaglogue resources in the 20th century.

Karl Fisch wrote a wonderful post on, "Why Wireless," which discusses the value of a publicly accessible WiFi node on his campus.


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