ERIC Number: ED445803
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Fool's Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood.
Cordes, Colleen, Ed.; Miller, Edward, Ed.
Noting that computers are reshaping children's lives in profound and unexpected ways, this report examines potential harms and promised benefits of these changes, focusing on early childhood and elementary education. Chapter 1 argues that popular attempts to hurry children intellectually are at odds with the natural pace of human development. Chapter 2 presents information on the risks of using computers to children's physical health (including musculoskeletal injuries, vision problems, and obesity), emotional and social development (isolation, shifts toward computer-centered education, detachment from community, and the commercialization of childhood), creativity and intellectual development (impaired language and literacy, poor concentration, inability to tolerate frustration, plagiarism, and distraction from meaning), and moral development. Chapter 3 urges families and schools to recommit themselves to providing young children with the essentials of a healthy childhood, including strong bonds with caring adults, hands-on experiences with the physical world, time for unstructured play, exposure to the arts, and literacy activities. Chapter 4 discusses ways parents and teachers can help children achieve a technology literacy that also involves the capacity to think critically and use technology to serve personal, social, and ecological goals. Chapter 5 focuses on the costs of technology and argues that the national infatuation with computers in early childhood and elementary education is diverting scarce resources from children's real unmet needs. Chapter 6 concludes with recommendations, including a refocus on the essentials of a healthy childhood and an immediate moratorium on further introduction of computers in early childhood and elementary education. Each chapter contains reference notes. (KB)
Descriptors: At Risk Persons, Brain, Child Health, Childhood Needs, Children, Cognitive Development, Computer Uses in Education, Computers, Creativity, Early Childhood Education, Early Experience, Educational Technology, Elementary Education, Emotional Development, Moral Development, Play, Social Development
Alliance for Childhood, P.O. Box 444, College Park, MD 20741; Tel: 301-513-1777; Fax: 301-513-1777; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web Site: http://www.allianceforchildhood.net ($8.50).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alliance for Childhood, College Park, MD.