- Technology will improve test scores in K-12.
- Technology will make every child equal in school.
- Technology will bring the United States into the 21st century so we can compete with the world.
- Technology will allow individualized education which will be better.
- Technology gives us more data so we can improve the educational experience. Technology gives instant access to knowledge.
- Technology prepares students for the future.
- Technology connects with students.
- Technology makes learning more fun (“gaming”).
- Technology helps save the environment by getting rid of all the paper and books.
- Technology will improve student retention and graduation rates.
Those same tech people all follow their own advice when educating their own children…right?
That may not be true. Today we bring you information about the “tech leaders” and how they limit or prohibit the use of technology in their own children. If they tell us tech is good why do they not walk the talk?
In an article from Snopes they share information about who and how tech leaders control access by their children. Here are highlights about what the article says:
- The philanthropist Melinda Gates said her children don’t have smartphones and only use a computer in the kitchen. Her husband Bill, the Microsoft co-founder, spends hours in his office reading books while everyone else is refreshing their homepage. The most sought-after private school in Silicon Valley, the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, bans technical devices for the under-11s and teaches the children of eBay, Apple, Uber and Google staff to make go-karts, knit and cook. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wants his daughters to read Dr Seuss books and play outside rather than use Messenger Kids. Steve Jobs’s children had strict limits on how much technology they used at home. It’s astonishing if you think about it: the more money you make out of the tech industry, the more you appear to shield your family from its effects.
- Melinda Gates goes on to say: “Still, as a mother who wants to make sure her children are safe and happy, I worry. And I think back to how I might have done things differently. Parents should decide for themselves what works for their family, but I probably would have waited longer before putting a computer in my children’s pockets. Phones and apps aren’t good or bad by themselves, but for adolescents who don’t yet have the emotional tools to navigate life’s complications and confusions, they can exacerbate the difficulties of growing up: learning how to be kind, coping with feelings of exclusion, taking advantage of freedom while exercising self-control. It’s more important than ever to teach empathy from the very beginning, because our kids are going to need it.”
- Bill Gates says: “We often set a time after which there is no screen time and in their case that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour. “You’re always looking at how it can be used in a great way – homework and staying in touch with friends – and also where it has gotten to excess. “We don’t have cellphones at the table when we are having a meal, we didn’t give our kids cellphones until they were 14 and they complained other kids got them earlier.”
- 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. 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.
- The Waldorf School’s website says: Waldorf educators believe it is far more important for students to interact with one another and their teachers, and work with real materials than to interface with electronic media or technology. By exploring the world of ideas, participating in the arts, music, movement and practical activities, children develop healthy, robust bodies, balanced and well-integrated brains, confidence in their real-world practical skills and strong executive-function capabilities. In the high school curriculum, Waldorf embraces technology in ways that enhance the learning process, by using it as a tool, rather than replace the role of the teacher. Students quickly master technology, and many Waldorf graduates have gone on to successful careers in the computer industry.
The article provides more details about trech leaders that severely limit tech in their children’s education but tell educators and the public how important and critical tech is to K-12…important because…it make them money.
In an article from The Guardian from 2015 we learn:
- When a technology journalist suggested to Steve Jobs, in 2010, that his children must have loved the just-released iPad, he replied flatly: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” His former righthand man, Jonathan Ive, whose design for the iPad is so simple that toddlers can operate it, recently revealed that he sets strict limits for his 10-year-old twin boys.
- Pierre Laurent, a former Microsoft and Intel marketing manager, is currently working on a Silicon Valley startup. He has two daughters, aged nine and 15, and a 17-year-old son.I love computers. They can do wonderful things, if you use them properly. But you can overuse technology, and become a slave to it.
We allowed screen time for our son until he was two. Then I read a book called The Growth Of The Mind, by Stanley Greenspan, which explains how we learn when we are small through our interaction with the world, and because of emotions.
- Anne Wojcicki is co-founder and CEO of gene-testing startup 23andme. She has a six-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter. I don’t get a thrill out of seeing my kids using tech, and they haven’t tried Google Glass. I much prefer when they get wonder out of picking strawberries in the garden.
Multiple people in the tech community share their thoughts on tech and their children. It appears many are much more restrictive than what they tell parents and students to do. But of course…don’t do what I do…someone needs to pay the bills.
“Silicon Valley tech leaders send their children to tech free schools.” That’s the headline in a story from 2011 in Education News. Why? Answer: The tech-free teaching methods are designed to foster a lifelong love of learning and teach students how to concentrate deeply and master human interaction, critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. That’s right…tech parents want their children to grow up thinking and loving to learn…and tech isn’t the end-all-be-all.
In a Time Magazine article from January 2019 titled “6 Tech Leaders and what they fear the most” one of those 6 is:
Every aspect of human development, health and well-being depends on our ability to navigate and form loving social relationships. Several recent studies, however, suggest that adults are compromising those relationships when they divert their attention from their infants to their cell phones. In one, infants were more negative and less exploratory when parents picked up their phones. Society’s 12-year unintended experiment since the iPhone was introduced may be the culprit for tweens who are less socially attuned and for the 74% of pre-K-to-8 principals who lamented that their biggest concern was the stark increase in children who suffer from emotional problems. Our digital habits might be getting in the way of our interpersonal relationships.
- Technology has a place
- In 2014 the projection was that tech spending would approach $19 billion by 2019
Local school districts are dramatically increasing spending on technology but showing no improvements in outcomes.
Technology is increasing isolation of students, reducing human interaction and leading to more behavioral problems…which is what tech leaders fear and why they minimize the use of the tech they sell us. What will you do about it? Will you talk to school administration and school board directors? Or, will you say yes to more spending and line the pockets of the tech leaders who eschew that which they sell?