GMWS Blog

The Documented Life

As we prepare for winter break and time with family, let's consider this opinion piece by Dr. Sherry Turkle of MIT, from The New York Times.

One of the best quotes: "It is not too late to reclaim our composure. I see the most hope in young people who have grown up with this technology and begin to see its cost. They respond when adults provide them with sacred spaces (the kitchen, the family room, the car) as device-free zones to reclaim conversation and self-reflection."

Why Are These Kindergarten Children Harvesting Potatoes?

(Photo from October 2012)

There are so many reasons...but let's start with these:

  • Because science begins with nature study and observation. They are learning how food is grown and harvested, while developing an intuitive and reverential respect for the earth and its processes and cycles.
  • Because life-long health (social, emotional, physical, spiritual, cognitive) includes being in the fresh air and sunshine, alongside friends, as we work on a cooperative project together, share opportunities to ask questions and solve problems, and build our will and our muscles.
  • Because life requires that we get involved. These children are being given an important chance to be engaged, helpful, and focused.  

Alone Together

Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, has been on our radar for some time. A professor at MIT and one of the first academics to study the impact of emerging technology on adults' and children's behavior, her April 2012 TED talk was followed by this interview last week with Bill Moyers. Hers is an important perspective.

Here's a quote: “What concerns me as a developmental psychologist is watching children grow in this new world where being bored is something that never has to be tolerated for a moment,” Turkle tells Moyers. “Everyone is always having their attention divided between the world of people [they're] with and this ‘other’ reality.”

 

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