Thursday, November 03, 2011

A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute

So an elite private school serving the most privileged kids on earth doesn't use computers – and the kids do well.  Gee, what a shocker…but it provides ZERO evidence for or against the use of technology in schools:

But the school's chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. They are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home.

Schools nationwide have rushed to supply their classrooms with computers, and many policy makers say it is foolish to do otherwise. But the contrarian point of view can be found at the epicenter of the tech economy, where some parents and educators have a message: computers and schools don't mix.

This is the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, one of around 160 Waldorf schools in the country that subscribe to a teaching philosophy focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks. Those who endorse this approach say computers inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans.

The Waldorf method is nearly a century old, but its foothold here among the digerati puts into sharp relief an intensifying debate about the role of computers in education.


Grading the Digital School

A Silicon Valley School That Doesn't Compute

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

The Waldorf School in Los Altos, Calif., eschews technology. Here, Bryn Perry reads on a desktop. More Photos »

Published: October 22, 2011 

LOS ALTOS, Calif. — The chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to a nine-classroom school here. So do employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard.

Grading the Digital School

Blackboards, Not Laptops

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