The real problem with technology

The other day I saw a picture of a weaving and it made me think, “I wish I had time to teach my students how to do that. To just have a day where we bring in miniature looms and they have to weave a design for me. Because there is no way they have ever gone through the process of weaving something.”

weavingThe reason they have not is technology.

Or maybe not. I don’t know.

But I remember making a weaving once upon a time. So I know what weaving meant before we weaved through traffic. And taking a sewing class, so I know what it feels like to thread and mend. And a cooking class, so I know what makes bread rise. And a wood-working class, so I can use heavy machinery. And an architecture class, so I can read a blueprint. Most students don’t get to do all that, and I feel like that becomes more true each day. Which really limits a person’s full and thorough understanding of the world…

We’re reading a book that includes weaving as a rather prominent theme. And when I’m told to bring that theme into the classroom, that means a video clip of someone weaving. There is no time available for the students to actually have a hands-on activity. And we have technology to supplement, so why bother making a fuss about the loss?

But I want to make a fuss! Fuss, fuss, fuss!

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3 Responses to The real problem with technology

  1. Liz says:

    This is partially why I decided education wasn’t something I’d be happy pursuing. Schools all over are bringing in technology left and right, and the students don’t actually get to experience it like they used to — like I was able to as a kid. I don’t blame you for wanting to make a fuss.

  2. Manda says:

    I took a basket weaving class as a kid! I also learned how to weave on a loom. It was one of those kiddie looms though, definitely not one of those huge legit ones where you have a foot pedal and everything. I’ve always wanted to learn how to use a proper loom, though… it looks so cool!

  3. Stephanie says:

    I actually got to use a loom in school in second grade. We were doing a two-month long “unit” on the American era, and our old assistant teacher had her loom brought in so that we could try out weaving! She also taught everyone (boys and girls) how to knit and sew. But really, shouldn’t everyone learn how to sew outside of school anyways? But that experience is an anomaly.

    I also actually have gotten to do many of the things that you’ve mentioned through “electives” in middle school, which seems to be common in New England. Until recently, I never realized how valuable that knowledge was. Hell, my Asian parents whose classrooms were all about memorizing books and nothing else in the 60s and 70s (I’m sure that your students are learning much more “non-academic” subjects than they ever did) said that there was too much “fun” in school and not enough “work”.

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