Saturday, February 6, 2010

Homeschool and Technology - Part 2

Today I read an article online about a homeschooling parent who believes that homeschoolers have access to all of the latest and greatest technology. That same parent believes that these tools of technology are only there to fill the gap of what knowledge we don't have. This person believes that computer programs and Internet are simply for fun and games. I see her point in a certain light but then I see things in another light as well.

In New York a new public school was chartered this year that is strictly based with technology. It covers all subjects but somehow puts it in a game format or a simulated way. From research the test scores show that this method works. That students are willing to sit at a screen and learn when it is well presented.

While I do firmly believe that technology can never replace human interaction but it can also help our human relationships along. For example, those with military parents can often use programs such as Skype or Windows Live to video chat for free! This is astounding. My children have been able to stay in touch with relatives that live across the country, see their cousins whenever they want to and as I write this they are in the other room on Skype with their father.

Technology does need to be monitored. Especially if you have students using the Internet. It's good to have your computer in an open place where you are passing by the desk often and can see what is going on and be involved in what your student is doing. It's great to monitor what games are being played and of course what social networking sites may be in use. Safety is key!

I think the lesson between my liberal attitude and the article author's conservatism is that everything is good in moderation with technology and education. I don't think it replaces text books and worksheets but I think it offers a great alternative. My own children have been on burn out from worksheets from time to time and I have been very glad that there are spelling programs and other helpers at my fingertips.

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