Why some Ohio schools ban all tech in the classroom

In this day and age when kids use iPads and smartphones in school and parents have a hard time keeping up, it's difficult to imagine that there are institutions that completely eschew the use of technology in the classroom. But these types of schools really do exist, as evidenced by the Waldorf schools of Ohio. No computers, TVs, tablets, or any gadget reside within the schools' premises, and their use is discouraged even at home.

It's not because the people behind Waldorf are anti-technology — they just believe learning computers in the first 12 or 13 years of a child's life is "not what's best for them." They also believe that kids don't need to be taught how to use computers as they're intuitive machines anyway. By the time the students reach eighth grade (which is the last possible year in the Waldorf system), though, teachers begin allowing them to use computers for basic purposes like research.

Clear Fork Valley Local, another school in Ohio, takes a similar approach. Principal Roger Knight believes technology, like a car, is a tool that should be used by teachers instead of the students. He also believes that in this tough economic climate, investing in good teachers should be the focus instead of buying iPads for students. The school does have a computer lab, but it's not an integral part of the students' education. As Clear Fork Valley Local is rated one of the best in the country, it's safe to say Knight's no-iPad policy works well for his school.

In spite of these institutions' presence in Ohio, the state's curriculum is actually very pro-technology. Government department e-Tech Ohio's Kate Harkin says putting technology in classrooms is never about replacing teachers. Her division merely seeks to ensure that children statewide have access to technology in order to supplement a student's experience in school. Other than that, being tech-savvy in this era is certainly an advantage. "If you walk onto a college campus, a new job, or anywhere else, if you don't have [computer] skills you are left behind," she says.

[Image credit: Waldorf Education]


This article was written by Mariella Moon and originally appeared on Tecca

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