Recently my oldest child, D, turned fourteen. I’m a member of an online women’s group for women that all had babies in 2001. We’ve been together since 2000. Of the group I’m the only homeschooler. A few days ago they were discussing the fact that many of their teenagers have been given laptops in school and their younger children iPads. The ones that don’t have this were bemoaning the “backwardness” of their school systems. So I had a talk with D about it. Does she feel disadvantaged to not have an iPad or laptop (we have a home desktop)? She thought for a moment and said, “No way. I know how to use technology. When a friend has some new gadget I can always pick it up and learn it in a few minutes, but those school kids don’t know how to look up a word in a dictionary or find a book at the library (she did 6th and part of 7th in public school). The technology is great but real books don’t need to be upgraded and don’t get old in just a couple of years.” I said that by the time she’s in college probably everything will be e-books for her textbooks. She said, “It’s ok, I’ll figure it out. You’ve been teaching me all this time to learn for myself.”
In the end I think it is important for children to use technology in a general way but I believe technology changes too rapidly for school systems or me to invest in the technology on a constant basis. However, the basic fundamentals of how to learn never go away. What do you all think?