Monday, September 16, 2013

Technology is one of those perplexing dilemmas--on one hand it's changed our lives and on the other I remember life before cell phones and computers. It's the reason I'm in braces from my hands to my elbows and at the same time it's the excitement in my kindergartner's face as she talks about her second computer class.

Alyssa is understanding computers for the first time. She's attempted it a few times but the hand-eye coordination wasn't developed enough to comprehend the intricacies. So she'd retreat to the IPAD. This year it is a regular part of her curriculum, but I have mixed emotions.

Part of the reason we chose to put our girls in private school is because there wasn't funding for so many things in public school: library, PE, technology; not to mention class size, but that is for another post. We were excited when Samantha had computers two days a week--this year third grade is learning to keyboard. Awesome sauce! (as Samantha says).

Coming from an assessment background, the keyboarding thing is a big deal. That will help place my daughter on the right track for the Common Core State Standards technology requirements. On the other hand, when my girls ask for computer time and their swing set becomes a decoration, I worry.

As a child, I spent every minute I could outside. And I try to do the same with my girls. Some days I make them stay outside until I say they can come in. I want them to really play. I want them to use their imaginations and explore.

I understand the importance of technology and I also recognize the pitfalls. I, for one, am so attached to mouse and keyboard for my job that I'm going on a year with severe hand and elbow injuries. I can only write posts when I am feeling good, which isn't often lately.

Technology, for lack of a better word, has taken away my time from my family. I can't go camping. I can't play Legos or color pictures most days. And every night after I put my kids to bed I spend two hours with my arms covered in ice, and then put back on my braces to sleep.

As I listen to Alyssa's excitement about her first experience on the computer, I find myself wishing that  technology wasn't such an important aspect of our lives. I dream of ways to minimize it. And to groans and eye rolling, I keep saying, "No computer today," and wonder how many other parents have the same internal struggle.

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