In Defense of Technology

I recently read an article in the current issue of Brainchild Magazine entitled, "Guilt Trip Into the Woods," which questions the current slew of literature against technology and for more time spent in nature for children. In the article Martha Nichols makes a claim for technology, and discounts the idea that kids are withering away indoors as a result of it. And, for the most part, I agree.

Our kids hardly watch any television, maybe a half an hour a day, if that. When the weather is warm we spend a lot of time outdoors, playing, exploring, walking. But if we find a pine cone and start talking about deciduous plants I might come across an answer I don't know. And do you know what we do then? We head inside and check Wiki. Today Erika asked me, out of the blue, about the very first person on Earth. This lead to a discussion of Evolution, and straight to the computer where she could read about it, look at pictures to help her visualize, and discover more questions. And the next time we head to the library you can be sure she will check out a book about Evolution, or how the Earth was formed, and read them under a tree while her sister plays in the sandbox.

I cannot ignore the role that technology will play in my children's future, that isn't helpful to them. Erika is showing a lot of interest in the internet and computers in general, so I am going to nurture that interest. Audrey is much more interested in physical activity and I nurture that too. There shouldn't be so much guilt associated with technology- if used right, it can be a great aide to parents. Should you sit your kids in front of the television and computer games for hours on end? I would have to say no. But have you checked out Wikipedia lately? There's so much to learn out there!

Fun Brain has tons of learning games. Even the seemingly silly games were teaching Erika about gravity and angles.

I found Knee Bouncers on Ohdeedoh a while ago and sometimes Audrey likes to participate in computer time.

Erika also loves, loves, loves to fly around on Google Earth. It was very popular when she was obsessed with Hawaii and learning about how volcanoes formed the islands.

What are your kid's favorite non nature activities? Where do they learn online?

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