Slice of Life: What scares you?

Two statements haunt me tonight.

One from a student when asked what scares you, he replied, “No Wifi.”

The second from my husband quoting the shocking number of times “we” touch our smartphones daily. Suffice it to say, too much. We adults who grew up without these devices are addicted. Just look around  Everywhere, people of all ages holding, scrolling, gazing at the glowing object in their hand.

The nine-year-olds are in my classroom on the cusp of smartphone ownership. Most don’t have one, yet. But based on my anecdotal research, and this article, ten is the magic age. By next year, most of my current students will have one.

It breaks my heart. My joy filled students who play with each other will become less and less in the moment of observation, of curiosity, of learning, of conversation, of human interaction. Smartphones will own them.

I’ve been a proponent of using technology in school. For communication and learning.  And I still am. But with controls. With limits.  I believe we need more time to observe, to play, to be without a device. We need to promote and model a balance of paper, crayons, and books with pages.  They are too young to have this taken away from them.  To be taken over. Heck, we all are.  We have willingly given away so much for so little.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Read more slices, here. 




13 thoughts on “Slice of Life: What scares you?

  1. I️ wrote about something similar today. Our power went out at school yesterday and it made me wonder how we could get back to the basics, which you articulated so well here.

  2. It is so true. I have a no device at the table and no device in the bedroom policy in my house. We always have and my 16 and 18 year old still abide by it. They now really need it for school, but are both award of the amount of time that can be lost on it. I think we try to work as a family on how to balance it all. I feel lucky that I learned to be on device/social media alongside my children. It has helped to talk about it and discuss ways to find balance together. I believe if we model balance they will find balance. BTW – 10 is really young!!! I am in a suburb of Boston and most don’t get a smartphone until High School. My kids got one the summer before 9th grade – 14.

  3. This is a sad commentary on the way we’ve become. I am pretty attached myself and should work to curb that attachment. Getting a phone is like a right of passage to the teens. I don’t think it’s as young as 10 here either, but the age is slowly creeping down. For my own girls, the rule was once they were driving.

  4. I ponder these same thoughts all the time. I am reading aloud The Wild Robot and it is helping my students discuss the positives to the natural world and the mechanical world. I hope I am instilling balance with my 6th graders but not sure. And my districts gave each an iPad. Such a great tool. Yet, so many just use it as a toy to play mindless games.

  5. It is an interesting time for sure, as we change our views on tech and who/what controls us. I think that balance is key and that as with everything we need to make sure we are making conscious choices. Definitely your post got me thinking.

  6. I am with you. We are a one-to-one school and parents actually applauded at Back to school Night when I told them I make their 6th graders write on paper before they go to the computer. Many of them work in high tech and they are concerned about how much screen time their children have, too.

  7. Your words “gazing at the glowing object in their hand,” immediately brought to mind Chris Van Allsburg’s book The Wretched Stone. Makes me feel really old as I wish for simpler times.

  8. It really is scary to watch how much time people spend on their devices. I was at a dance performance recently and the second that the curtain came down for intermission, the theater started glowing with cell phone light as people dove into their pockets to see if they had received a text or email or phone call. Really? What about turning to the person next to you to share your experience of this beautiful dance work you just saw together????

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