IT elite give lesson on school technology

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2011, 12:00am


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Educators and parents the world over are desperate to make the classroom as wired as possible and to introduce computers to ever younger children. But at an elite private school in Los Altos, California, computers are not allowed in the classroom and their use at home is frowned upon, at least during early school years.

The Waldorf system the school follows may be interpreted as just another eccentric education programme. But what the world, perhaps, should pay attention to is that the school - which spans nursery, primary and secondary - is home to many children of top executives at hi-tech companies such as eBay, Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard.

Do they know something other parents don't?

Having helped unleash the IT revolution, some of these top people from Silicon Valley now shun it in educating their own children. It's worth finding out why.

The answer appears to be nothing more than common sense.

The school has a simple philosophy: nothing beats mastery of reading, writing and elementary mathematics for a young child. And whatever killer education apps may be out there, nothing can replace books, pencils and papers in mastering such basic skills. The school does not ban the use of IT, but advocates a sparing approach.

How ironic that it's back to basics for the children of the IT revolution.

As a parent and senior executive at Google said: 'What's the rush? At Google and all these places, we make technology as brain-dead easy to use as possible. There's no reason kids can't figure it out when they get older.'

Exactly. Parents, think twice before buying an Apple computer for your child in kindergarten.