We live in a time where just about anything is at our fingertips. It sometimes is called the “Microwave Society.” At the touch of a button, we can have a full course meal in less than ten minutes! Hearty beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and a little dessert on the side fills the tummy. Many believe the quality of the meal is compromised by such a speedy delivery. They believe the impact of the microwave kills many nutrients. Yet, others would argue that it’s great to have that type of meal rather than a sandwich slapped together or no meal at all. Perhaps there are times we need that type of quick meal, but not as our only method. One has to admit nothing can replace a healthy meal, slow cooked and unprocessed. We have immediate and easy access to the world as we sit on our couches or in our favorite chair and flick stations at the touch of a button. At our computers we shop online, we have our social connections and access to all types of research. In our fast paced world, technology can be great!
Modern technology makes it possible for us to experience places and events that was unfathomable a quarter century ago. It is easy to incorporate in our educational programs. It has the potential to expose students to the great jungles of the world, the vast outer space or even the microscopic inner workings of the human body. However, like the concept of the microwave, as good as it is to have technology in our lives it is not the end all. Hands on experience in education can never be replaced by a computer or software program. Nothing can take place of an outdoor exploration or studying personal hair follicles under a real microscope. There are experiences students have when all five senses are engaged in the learning process that technology can’t produce. As exciting as it is to have technology at our fingertips, we must never let that replace real life situations and experiences. Learning how to ride a bike takes practice as well as many adventurous activities that we never want to neglect or miss out on because of technology. Technology is great, but it must be kept in check with other healthy experiences in life.
Mimi Rothschild is a veteran homeschooling mother of 8, writer of a series of books called Cyberspace for Kids, and passionate advocate for children and education that is truly worthy of them. In 2001, Mimi and her late husband founded Learning By Grace, a leading provider of online Christian homeschooling Academies.