Why Is Digital Learning Good For Your Kids But Not For Those of Silicon Valley Execs?
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. July 16, 2018
Silicon Valley companies are pushing digital products into public schools as teacher replacements but executives of giants, such as Google, Apple, Yahoo, and Hewlett-Packard, reject the use of technology for their own children.
Their precious offspring attend the pricey private school, Waldorf School of the Peninsula, that bans classroom computers and teaches a classical curriculum using blackboards with colored chalk; bookshelves with encyclopedias; and wooden desks filed with workbooks, paper, and No. 2 pencils. Waldorf parents reject replacing teachers with technology. They believe students will engage in learning if they have great teachers with interesting lesson plans and contact with their peers.
Google Executive Alan Eagle says, “I fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in grammar school…The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that's ridiculous.”
When the Apple iPad was introduced, Steve Jobs admitted that his own children had not used it because he limited their use of technology at home. Evenings were spent having dinner together at their long kitchen table while discussing books. history, and other interesting subjects. No iPads or computers were in sight.
Because children under 10 seem to be most susceptible to screen addiction, many technology chief executives and venture capitalists ban tech use during the week and limit iPad and smartphone use from 30 minutes to two hours on weekends.
Some Silicon Valley parents also forbid teenagers to use social networks, except for services like Snapchat which deletes messages after they have been sent, so that online comments will not surface to haunt them in the future.
Although some non-tech parents give smartphones to a child as young as 8, many tech employees wait until age 14, including Bill Gates.
There is one rule that is universal among the tech parents who were polled. Absolutely no electronic screens can be used in the bedroom.
This no- to low-tech philosophy of parents mirrors that of Waldorf School of the Peninsula. Their website states that electronic entertainment can negatively influence the emotional and physical development and learning of children and adolescents. “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.”
Then why are Silicon Valley companies pushing their harmful products on your kids?