A few days ago, I published an article about a private school in London that ‘bans’ children’s use of all technology until the age of 12 – in the home, as well as in school. By way of contrast, here’s an article about AltSchool, a new venture that started in Silicon Valley with significant financial backing from Mark Zuckerberg that builds a high use of ICT in to it’s progressive ways of operating:
To me, the question isn’t necessarily one about saying yes or no to ICT, but hinges on the key term used in this article – ‘agency’. My biggest concern about the London example is the denial of agency to the children. In plain terms, they weren’t trusted to make sound judgements for themselves or even to hear rational arguments in favour of restraint in ICT use.
Again, I believe we’ve got to create environments within which children have a voice and the ability to influence their world. Growing up denied all power of agency is not the way, in my view, to create healthy, thoughtful self-determining adults.