That is the question that I am mulling over currently as I look to the new school year. I have one child that has not ‘got it’ educationally. She doesn’t read yet. She doesn’t write well. Her math skills are mediocre. So, do I put her to work on an I Pad? I just don’t know. Most of the kids that come out of foster care have been surrounded by the television and other screens. This is not always the case but often. The I Pad has a lot to offer. The technology is great but my concern is that unless I ‘unplug’ her- she won’t get it.
I realize that I could potentially be sparking a huge debate here. I am not against technology at all. I have a laptop, a Kindle Fire, IPod and other gadgets. I like them. I use them. Yet, I have a great fear that if I set my non-reader in front of the cool new I Pad, she will never truly learn to enjoy a good book. She will rely on entertainment instead of using her brain to think through things. The brain is stimulated in many ways. The shuffle of the pages as they are turned. The quiet stillness of reading the written word. All things that are important. Can a child get those when learning to read and work on an I Pad?
I have an I Pad app book. There are so many amazing things for kids in it. Every time I flip through it I think, “Man, my non-reader would love that.”
So I am stuck. Do I wait for the technology until I feel that she has a better handle on the reading, writing and arithmetic? Or do I use the I Pad technology to foster a love for learning? I think that life with children is full of those types of decisions. Will my foster child benefit from access to the technology at this point? If not now, when?
Perhaps I can use the I Pad to study the night sky and look up which bird we are hearing and still foster a love for a good book by sitting down on those long Fall afternoons and flipping the pages. Is that what modern technology is all about- using it to add and bring great value to what is already being taught. Maybe I can have the best of both worlds. What do you think?